Amazon workers in France protest over coronavirus risks

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Several hundred workers at an Amazon warehouse and shipping centre near Orléans in north-central France staged a strike on Wednesday over their fears of exposure to the Covid-19 coronavirus, calling for the site's closure or for a dispensation for those staff who wished to stay at home.

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Several hundred Amazon workers protested in France on Wednesday, calling on the online retailer to cease operations or make it easier for employees not wanting to work during the coronavirus outbreak to stay away, reports Reuters.

Retailers across France were ordered to shut over the past weekend as the country stepped up measures to try to control the disease, with only stores providing food and other basic goods or services allowed to operate.

Online deliveries are still allowed, however.

At an Amazon warehouse and shipping centre at Saran just outside Orléans, a city south of Paris, some 250-300 workers staged a strike, gathering outside and calling for its closure. It normally employs some 1,800 full-time staff.

“We feel really unsafe and I’ve got colleagues who are coming to work feeling fearful,” said Richard Vives, from the CAT union, who was demonstrating with other worker representatives.

Unions have argued that Amazon delivers very few groceries and many other goods are not essential and should therefore consider closures.

Amazon said it was adhering to all sanitary guidelines, adding that it was prioritizing and making space in warehouses for key products such as household staples and hygiene or medical supplies as online demand soars globally.

Read more of this report from Reuters.

 

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