Amazon to suspend operations in France over coronavirus dispute; move will ‘affect everyone,’ says RLG Partner and Litigation Dept. Director David McDowell

By Liz Alderman | New York Times

PARIS — Amazon said Wednesday that it would temporarily halt its operations in France after a court ruled the company had failed to adequately protect warehouse workers against the threat of the coronavirus and that it must restrict deliveries to only food, hygiene and medical products until it addressed the issue.

Amazon contested the findings of the ruling, handed down Tuesday by a civil court outside Paris, and said it would appeal. The court had given the company a deadline of Wednesday evening to carry out the order or face a fine of 1 million euros (nearly $1.1 million) per day.

“We have suspended activities in our distribution centers in France, despite the huge investment we have made to ensure and strengthen safety measures for our employees,” Amazon said in a statement, adding that it was “perplexed” by the court’s decision. The threatened fine was too steep to risk not complying, Amazon added.

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“Instead of working together in a time that requires the cooperation of everyone, it appears the labor unions and Amazon have created a situation that will negatively affect everyone in France.” Rose Law Group Partner and Litigation Dept. Director David McDowell

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