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French Court to decide whether Amazon may continue to deliver


French Court to decide whether Amazon may continue to deliver

Amazon closes French warehouses after court orderPhoto: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

A French court will release its verdict today regarding Amazon’s appeal to continue deliveries amid the COVID-19 shutdown. French unions have sued the company for failing to adequately protect employees during the public health crisis.

On April 15, French courts ordered Amazon to limit deliveries to essential goods in an effort to protect workers from exposure to COVID-19, and threatened to fine the company $1 million for each day it failed to comply. French inspectors also demanded more action to ensure warehouse workers were social distancing and provided with hand sanitiser.

The courts are likely to rule in Amazon’s favour as the company has spent the last week improving safety conditions. Amazon has also argued that it provides an important service to the country while in lockdown, supplying goods citizens would be unable to get otherwise. This ruling could have important implications in the US, where many have similarly argued that Amazon should only ship essential goods or cease operations to keep workers safe.

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If the French court upholds the earlier ruling, similar lawsuits across the EU might be triggered, likely limiting the company’s operations in other member states.

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