PARIS — A French court on Tuesday ordered Amazon to limit its deliveries to essential goods until it can properly assess the risk to its employees from the coronavirus pandemic, French media reported.
The court in Nanterre, on the outskirts of Paris, ordered the online retail giant to comply with the ruling within 24 hours or risk a fine of one million euros per day. The ruling was in response to a complaint filed by trade union Sud Solidaires, which had called for Amazon’s six French warehouses to be shut down.
The union had described the situation as a “sanitary and social bomb.” Amazon has insisted throughout that it has taken measures to ensure the safety of its workers. The company contested Tuesday’s ruling.
“We disagree with today’s court decision, and we are working quickly to understand what it means for our French operations. We will continue to work with all parties and provide all the information required as we have since the beginning of this unprecedented crisis,” it said in a statement.
“Nothing is more important than the safety of our employees. Over the last four weeks in France we’ve deployed an additional 127,000 packs of wipes, more than 27,000 liters of hand sanitizing gel, as well as over 1.5 million masks to our sites.
“We have added temperature checks, social distancing measures and tripled the size of our janitorial teams with more than 200 additional areas for enhanced cleaning at every site,” it added.
Amazon said last month it had stopped taking orders for nonessential goods on its sites in France and Italy in an effort to reduce pressure on its logistics teams, after coming under fire from unions that accused it of failing to respect health and safety regulations in its distribution hubs.
According to Sud Solidaires, essential goods such as food, hygiene products and medications represent just 10 percent of Amazon’s business in France.