Amazon, the renowned American multinational technology giant, has reportedly announced that it is unsure as to when its warehouses in France would reopen, after the company was at odds with unions over the measures that were taken to lower the risks of COVID-19 infection.
The company has recently shut six French warehouses mainly used to stock and package goods for shipment till at least April 20, in probably the greatest aftermath from a developing stand-off with its workers regarding safety measures in the course of the pandemic.
The online retail giant is facing increasing scrutiny both in Europe and North America as it tries to deal with a surge in online orders coming in during the lockdowns and keeping its workers safe.
France is the one nation where it has closed all the fulfillment centers after complaints from the unions that the warehouses were excessively crowded, which further led them to file a legal challenge against the retailer. The court ordered Amazon on Tuesday to focus solely on delivering important items such as food.
Frederic Duval, chief executive, Amazon France, had rejected the order given by the court on Thursday, stating that the organization has spent huge quantities on precautions regarding the wellbeing of its workers, which includes face masks and sanitizers. The company is likely to appeal the ruling.
Duval further stated that instead of constraining its actions, the company had suspended trade on a temporary basis, through the warehouses as the order of the court, including a penalty of nearly 1 million euros per day fine for non-compliance, was quite unambiguous.
The court had not ordered to close down the warehouses, instead requested to restrict the deliveries to hygiene products, groceries, and medical supplies.
Duval added that there is big ambiguity. The company would further work alongside unions so as to ensure that the work sites are opened as soon as possible, but nothing could be confirmed at this particular time period regarding the date of reopening.
The six closed warehouses employ approximately 10,000 temporary and permanent employees. As per reliable sources, Amazon would be tapping into a state partial unemployment scheme in order to pay its workers.