Amazon Gets A Lesson From France In Labor Relations

Amazon appears to have successfully stifled protest at its American warehouses by workers concerned about their safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In April, Amazon fired two warehouse workers who participated in protests about Amazon’s response to the pandemic. An Amazon vice-president, Tim Bray, subsequently resigned to protest the firings.

But France is another story altogether.

European law requires Amazon  to deal with labor unions. After hundreds of workers threatened to walk out of French warehouses, Amazon strengthened social distancing measures, provided masks and hand sanitizer, took employee temperatures and awarded hazard pay. But workers still felt unsafe and their unions sued Amazon.

A French court ruled the company still had not adequately protected workers and ordered it to restrict deliveries only to food, hygiene and medical problems until it performed a comprehensive risk assessment. Amazon appealed, unsuccessfully, and was forced to closed its six French warehouses on April 16 to avoid prohibitive fines. Continue reading “Amazon Gets A Lesson From France In Labor Relations”