Court bans Amazon from selling non-essential items

by Steve Martindale

A French court has ordered Amazon to stop selling all but the most essential items while officials assess the safety standards at its warehouses. Fining the online retailer €1m per day if it fails to comply, the court said Amazon had “failed to recognise its obligations regarding the security and health of its workers”. From today the company may now only sell food, hygiene and medical products direct from its warehouses.

Amazon has previously said that it abides by health and safety guidelines and announced it will appeal the ruling.

Business has boomed for Amazon during the current coronavirus pandemic and the company has hired thousands of extra staff worldwide in recent weeks in countries where shops have closed and lockdowns have been imposed. The company has faced criticism, however, for allegedly forcing employees to work in close proximity to each other. There have been staff walkouts at some facilities and last month, the country’s finance minister Bruno Le Maire said that Amazon was putting “unacceptable” pressure on its workers by refusing to pay them if they didn’t go into work.

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