Amazon France warehouses to stay shut until May 13

Mail order giant Amazon is extending the closure of its six warehouses in France until May 13.

The warehouses have been closed since April 16, following a court decision which permitted Amazon to deliver only essential products until the company had carried out an assessment of the health risks to its workers during the Covid-19 crisis.

If this was not respected, the company would be fined €1million per day and per offence, the court ruled.

Amazon appealed the decision but lost. The company has not assessed the risks to its workers yet choosing to close all the warehouses until a solution is found.

In a new statement announcing the extension of the closure, Amazon said: “ The penalty payment, as specified by the Court of Appeal, obliges us to consider continuing the suspension of activity of our French distribution centres until Wednesday May 13 inclusive. At the same time, we continue to work with our union partners and to assess how best to operate our distribution centres in the light of the court's decision.”

Amazon is also planning to appeal again to the top appeal court, la Cour de Cassation.

Meanwhile, employees who have to stay at home will be paid 100% of their salary by Amazon, as the government refused Amazon’s request for chômage partiel (state subsidised temporary unemployment). The work ministry said that the closure of Amazon sites is not linked to a drop of activity but is related to a court decision and chômage partiel “is not intended for that purpose”.  

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