French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire accused Amazon on Thursday of putting “unacceptable” strain on workers after unions claimed the retailer won’t pay employees who refuse to go in to work fearing coronavirus contagion.
“This coercion is unacceptable and we’re going to make sure that Amazon is aware of this,” Le Maire instructed France Inter radio.
About 200 of the 1,700 workers at Amazon’s distribution centre close to Douai in northern France refused to work on Tuesday, exercising the “proper of refusal” in France’s labour code if an worker considers there’s a threat to well being or security.
And half of the full-time workers at its Montelimar facility in southeast France walked out on Wednesday, union sources stated.
They added that administration had indicated these staff wouldn’t be paid.
The French authorities introduced strict confinement measures beginning Tuesday, below which staff will probably be allowed to enter the workplace provided that their employers can’t make tele-commuting doable, after which offered particular contagion administration measures are in place.
Unions say Amazon has failed to make sure that workers can stay one metre (3.Three toes) from each other as beneficial by the authorities, and that face masks and sanitising hand gels are briefly provide.
“In some locations it is inconceivable to take care of the secure distance, particularly within the altering rooms,” stated Guillaume Reynaud, a CGT union official on the Montelimar web site.
Amazon has disputed the claims, saying it has bolstered cleansing measures and brought steps “in order that workers can maintain the required distance from each other.”
“We’re strictly following the federal government’s suggestions and directives,” it stated in an announcement.
The US large has seen a surge of orders in France and different international locations the place officers have confined hundreds of thousands of individuals to their houses, with outings authorised just for important causes resembling shopping for meals.
This week, it hiked hourly pay in Europe by two euros, whereas pay in Britain was elevated by two kilos. It additionally lifted hourly pay by $2 in the USA, the place it plans to rent some 100,000 folks to deal with the strains on its workforce.
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