'Exploited' migrant delivery staff in France accuse Amazon of ignoring their plight


Seven workers originally from Africa were employed by a private delivery firm that worked for the giant American company in northern France from October 2021 until being laid off in February 2022. During that time they worked very long hours for low and often irregular pay. The workers insist that Amazon must have known that they were being exploited. The American group denies the workers' claims. Meanwhile the employees' case against the subcontractor is soon to be heard at an industrial tribunal. Dan Israel reports.

Revealed: the vile racist exchanges of French police officers on WhatsApp

France — Investigation

Amid a mounting debate over accusations of systemic racism within France’s police force, this joint investigation by Mediapart and ARTE Radio reveals the vile exchanges between police officers on a WhatsApp chat group, in which they talk of “enemies of the white race” and of “niggers”, describe women as “whores”, Jews as “sons of bitches” who “govern the country”, and gay men as “poofs”. Camille Polloni reports on a case that came to light only due to the courage of one of their black colleagues and how, five months after his formal complaint, the men were still in their posts.

Concern at lack of transparency over Lubrizol chemical plant blaze in France

France — Investigation

The Lubrizol chemical factory at Rouen in northern France that caught fire on September 26th stores and produces products that are “very dangerous for the environment”, “irritants” and “noxious”, according to reports by the inspectorate in charge of overseeing potentially hazardous sites. In 2016 the inspectorate warned about the risk of the “creation of toxic substances” in the event of a fire. Jade Lindgaard examines the background to the chemical plant where local residents are alarmed about the risk of dangerous pollution.

Chemical plant fire in France sparks regional agricultural ban

France — Link

Around 100 districts in area surrounding Rouen in northern France are expected to have been affected by fallout from last week's blaze.

Officials play down health risk after French chemical plant fire

France — Link

A strong smell of hydrocarbons hung over Rouen in northern France and pollution also spilled into the Seine river.

Town v country: rural French schools feel sacrificed in favour of urban areas

France — Analysis

The education authorities have just made their annual announcement about which primary school classes are being closed and which are being opened in the next academic year. Teaching unions and elected representatives in rural areas fear village schools are getting fewer teaching posts so that the government can implement its flagship policy of halving class sizes in education priority zones - which are overwhelmingly in deprived urban areas. Education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer rejects the claims. Mediapart's education correspondent Faïza Zerouala reports.

At least 13 dead in birthday party disaster at bar in France

France — Link

Fire in Rouen, in which victims were apparently overcome by toxic gases, is thought to have been caused by candles on a birthday cake.