By Damon Mitchell • 15 April 2020 • 11:41
A COURT in Nanterre, near Paris, has ordered Amazon to limit its deliveries in France to essential goods only, amid claims it is failing to protect its workers from Coronavirus.
To allow officials to assess whether Amazon is taking adequate precautions to protect its staff, the online retail giant can now deliver only food, hygiene and medical products in the country from Tuesday.
The court claim Amazon had ‘failed to recognise its obligations regarding the security and health of its workers.’ The company faces a fine of €1 million per day if it fails to comply.
Amazon has hired thousands of extra staff worldwide as business booms in countries where shops have closed and lockdowns have been imposed and have previously said it abides by health and safety guidelines.
In France, the company was taken to court by the trade union group Solidaires Unitaires Démocratiques (Sud), which claimed that more than 100 workers were being forced to work in close proximity to one another.
Amazon also came under scrutiny from labour inspectors who ordered it to improve the conditions at five of its sites. Some unions had called for the complete closure of the company in the country. Failing that, they had asked for stricter restrictions on what kind of deliveries it could carry out.
Unions have argued that Amazon delivers very few groceries, while many of its deliveries are non-essential.
Julien Vincent, a union representative, estimated around 30 per cent to 40 per cent of the company’s employees in France had stopped going into work – either out of fear of catching the coronavirus or because they were unable to arrange or afford childcare after schools were closed.
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