Amazon France ordered to stop non-essential deliveries following court hearing

Amazon France ordered to stop non-essential deliveries following court hearing

Amazon is to close six of its warehouses in France, after a court ruling stopped the delivery of non-essential items during the pandemic.

The decision to limit deliveries was made earlier this week at a court in Nanterre while the company underwent safety inspections. Deliverable items have been reduced to groceries, medicine and hygiene products.

The company was taken to court by French union group Solidaires Unitaires Démocratiques, which claimed that workers were being forced to work in close proximity to each other, according to a BBC report.

Some unions called for the closure of the company in France, while others demanded restrictions on deliveries during the pandemic.

A walk-out protest was held against the company in March.

A union representative estimated around 30% to 40% of the company’s employees in France had stopped going into work due to the pandemic, Reuters reported.

The court said Amazon had “failed to recognise its obligations regarding the security and health of its workers,” and will face a fine of €1m per day if it fails to comply with the restrictions.

A statement released by Amazon said: "We’re puzzled by the court ruling given the hard evidence brought forward regarding security measures put in place to protect our employees." The company said it would appeal against the court's decision.

Amazon UK enacted extra measures for its workforce earlier this month. A spokesperson from the company told The Bookseller that increased cleaning and social distancing was operation at all their facilities, and they are "prioritising the intake and dispatch of items most needed by our customers right now [including] food, health and personal care products, books and items needed to work from home."