French court warns Amazon over warehouse Covid 19 health and safety

27 Apr 2020 , 12:41pm

Amazon has had to temporarily close its fulfilment centres in France following a court hearing in Versailles

A French court has upheld a decision that e-commerce company Amazion was not taking adequate steps in its warehouses to protect its workers against Covid-19. The company had been ordered in a previous court hearing to carry out a systemic safety health and safety audit of its warehouses including consultations with unions over social distancing and other health precautions. Amazon was ordered to limit shipments of essential items such as healthcare, beauty, food and petcare orders until the study was carried out. The company was also threatened with fines of 100,000 euros per order if the company disobeyed the ruling.

In response the company claimed its warehouses in France and everywhere in the world were safe. It added that penalties could amount to more than a billion euros per week even if only 0.1 per cent of unauthorised goods were “accidentally shipped” from its warehouses. “As a result, unfortunately we have no choice but to extend the temporary closure of our fulfilment centres in France while we figure out the best way to operate given the court of appeals’ decision,” the company added.