PARIS — Amazon has stopped taking orders for nonessential goods on its sites in France and Italy in an effort to reduce pressure on its logistics teams, as both countries remain locked down while authorities battle the coronavirus outbreak.
Amazon came under fire last week from unions in France and Italy, who accused the online retail giant of failing to respect health and safety regulations in its distribution hubs.
After Amazon reportedly said it would not pay workers who walked out due to health concerns, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire accused the company of putting “unacceptable” pressure on its staff.
Amazon has insisted throughout that it has taken measures to ensure the safety of its workers.
“As our clients rely increasingly on e-commerce to support their social distancing efforts, we have also implemented social distancing in our distribution centers to ensure the health and safety of our coworkers,” the company said in a statement.
“We therefore have to focus our available capacity on the most essential items and, starting today, temporarily stop taking orders on some less essential items on Amazon.fr and Amazon.it,” the retailer added.
Amazon did not provide a list of items considered essential. All existing orders will be fulfilled, and customers can continue to place orders with third-party vendors who ship directly, it said.