Amazon loses bid to resume selling non-essential goods in France
In mid-April, a court in France ruled that Amazon can only fulfill orders for essential products to protect its workers from COVID-19. The e-commerce giant challenged the decision, but it has ended up losing (PDF) its appeal on Friday. According to The New York Times, the Versailles Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s ruling to limit Amazon deliveries to “health items, food, pet food and electronics” until it does a risk evaluation of its sites with French unions. For every delivery that doesn’t comply with the court’s requirements, the company would have to pay 100,000 euros or around $108,000.
The Versailles court also backed the lower court’s findings that Amazon failed to provide workers with adequate sanitary conditions in certain areas, such as their locker rooms. It upheld union demand that the company take workers’ mental well-being into account when reorganizing work schedules and teams, as well.
Amazon already put a number of measures in place to protect the health and safety of its employees, the NYT says. However, it it didn’t consult with employee representatives and labor unions, which is a necessary step to do business in France. In a statement posted on Twitter, Amazon France wrote that it’s “puzzled” by the court’s decision. It’s now currently assessing the ruling’s implications for its business in the country, as well as for its employees, customers and companies that rely on its services.