A court in Nanterre, France, has ruled that Amazon should greatly restrict orders in France in the coming weeks. According to the decision that AFP and a union have obtained, Amazon can only accept orders of groceries, hygiene and health-related products.
The company has 24 hours to comply or it’ll have to pay a fine of €1 million per day.
Since the coronavirus pandemic-induced lockdown started in France, Amazon has already been “prioritizing” essential items over non-essential ones. It means that if you order a video game on Amazon, it might take a week or more to show up at your home.
But all six fulfillment centers in France are still operating as usual as of today. Last month, Mediapart shared audio recordings of Amazon executives saying that they haven’t been doing enough to protect warehouse workers — it has been particularly hard to respect social distancing for instance.
Since then, at least one Amazon employee has been diagnosed with coronavirus in France. A union (Sud Solidaires) referred to a court, asking Amazon to shut down its warehouses altogether in order to protect employees.
The court has ruled that Amazon can’t keep operating as usual under these circumstances. But the company can still accept orders of essential items. It has to overhaul its operations if it wants to accept more orders going forward.
According to Le Parisien, the decision will remain valid for up to one month, pending a review of COVID-19-related risks. The court could decide to extend the restrictions.