French court maintains earlier ruling that restricted Amazon deliveries amidst COVID-19

French court maintains earlier ruling that restricted Amazon deliveries amidst COVID-19
Written by:
Wajeeh Khan
24th April, 17:20
Updated: 28th April, 13:16
  • Versailles Court of Appeal upholds ruling that restricts Amazon deliveries during COVID-19.
  • Amazon employs 10K workers at its six warehouses in France that are currently shutdown.
  • The online retailer installed thermo cameras to screen its U.S warehouse workers for COVID-19.

Amazon Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) recently closed its six warehouses in France after a dispute with workers that accused the U.S online retailer of inadequate safety measures to protect its employees from the Coronavirus. Taking notice of the workers’ protest, a French court ordered Amazon earlier this month to confine its deliveries to essential items only. The e-commerce giant appealed against the court’s order at the start of this week.

On Friday, Versailles Court of Appeal rejected Amazon’s appeal and restricted the online retailer to deliver health items, IT products, and food and pet food only during COVID-19. The court further added that Amazon will face an around £87K penalty for each delivery that fails to comply with the Court’s order.

Amazon Employs 10,000 Workers At Its 6 Warehouses In France

According to the court, Amazon must comply with the restrictions as it assesses its current health measures and strategizes to improve them and protect its workers from the flu-like virus. Amazon currently employs 10,000 workers at its six warehouses in France.

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Extending the shutdown twice, Amazon highlighted in its last statement that its warehouses will remain closed until April 25th inclusive. Amazon’s subsidiary in France commented on the court’s order on Friday and stated:

“We’ll evaluate the consequences of this decision for our business, our employees, our customers in France, and the many small and medium-sized companies that rely on Amazon to grow their business.”

Amazon has been under intense scrutiny from regulators after multiple protests by its workers in various regions that feared a higher risk of COVID-19 infection due to Amazon’s health and safety measures that they saw as insufficient.

Amazon Installed Thermal Cameras In U.S Warehouses

After excessive pressure from regulators, Amazon recently installed thermal cameras in its U.S warehouses to automate the screening of its workers for Coronavirus and improve the efficiency of the overall process. The retailer was previously using forehead thermometers to manually screen all workers.

Despite challenges, Amazon is committed to improving access to essential items for communities amidst lockdowns and strict social distancing measures. Amazon has reiterated on multiple occasions in recent weeks that the company is seeing an unprecedented surge in online orders.

Amazon hit a record-high of £1,966 per share in the stock market earlier this week on Monday. The £970 billion ($1.20 trillion) company is currently exchanging hands at £1,947 per share that marks an over 25% gain year to date.

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