News

Amazon extends France warehouse shutdown as French government denies salary subsidy

Amazon’s travails over the safety of its warehouses in France are continuing as it was forced to keep its warehouses shut down and was denied income support from the French government.

A court in Nanterre, near Paris, ruled on 14 April that Amazon would have to limit the activity of its six warehouses in the country to only ship essential categories such as food, hygiene and medical items. After the ruling was upheld despite an appeal, Amazon decided to shut down the warehouses rather than risk a fine.

It continued to pay employees but last week requested that it receive support through a government scheme which allows employers to claim 84% of the pay of temporarily unemployed workers.

However, on Monday, France’s labour ministry refused to grant support for the incomes of the employees who were temporarily unable to work.

The company has yet to reopen warehouses, deciding earlier this week to renew the closure until at least 8 May.

An Amazon spokesperson said: “Our fulfilment centres in France and around the world are safe. The court’s decision underscores the fact that this is not about safety but rather certain unions leveraging the process of formal procedural consultation with works councils for their own agenda.

“We have involved works councils since the beginning to align on safety measures which have been deployed across all our sites, and we are proud of the many changes we’ve made together to keep our teams safe while serving our customers in France and around the world.

“We do not believe this decision is in the best interest of French communities, employees or the thousands of French SME’s who rely on Amazon to grow their businesses.