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Cononavirus pandemic and workers’ struggles

Covid-19: A first victory in France against Amazon

Monday 27 April 2020

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In France, Amazon continues to operate as if nothing had happened, despite the mobilization of the staff and warnings from trade unions, the inspectorate and the occupational health authorities, as well as criticism from the Ministers of the Economy and Labour.

The result is a health and social bomb exploding all over France in a company that has more than 10,000 workers, directly, but also an army of temporary workers, as well as delivery men and women who bring the virus to their homes: there are dozens of employees suffering from the symptoms of Covid-19, proven cases have since been detected on several of the sites and the first employee is still being treated in an intensive care unit.

To put an end to this criminal obstinacy, the Union Syndicale Solidaires filed a summons on 8 April to "order Amazon, under penalty payment of more than EUR 1 million per day,

 to cease employing staff at its six French sites and, at the very least, to reduce, as the company has undertaken to do, its activity to 10% of “essential” goods

 and, correlatively, the number of present. This will allow the protective measures implemented in cascade to really produce their effect, which promiscuity renders inoperative.

At the same time, the Nanterre labour tribunal was asked to rule on the right, still ongoing, to withdraw the first eleven employees from the Lauwin-Planque and Saran warehouses while the company refuses to pay them the corresponding salary.

The Nanterre judicial court ruling orders Amazon to carry out an assessment of epidemic risks, including psycho-social risks, with the genuine involvement of staff representative bodies.

It also ordered Amazon to limit the activity of its six warehouses, as they have been claiming for weeks they are doing, to essential goods only, namely food, hygiene and medical supplies, within 24 hours and under a fine of one million euros for each day’s delay.

The previous week, a similar decision was handed down against La Poste.

These are important points of support for the workers’ struggle; they are also the fruit of the workers’ struggle, of resistance carried out in the workplace against criminal employer directives.

This in France, but also in other countries, as the many examples at Amazon show.

The member organisations of the International Trade Union Solidarity and Struggle Network continue to publicise the various trade union actions at Amazon (see our previous information on Poland, the United States, the Spanish state, Germany, etc.).

The struggle is carried out in coordination between European and American workers of the multinational: no to the “march or die” at Amazon, yes to the respect of the right to strike and to withdraw and boycott the platform!

15 April

Labour solidarity


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