Online retailer Amazon announced on Wednesday that it would close its French distribution centers for five days after a court ordered that measures to protect workers from corona viruses be evaluated.
The websites would be closed as of Thursday, but employees would receive full salaries, Amazon said.
The company promised to appeal Tuesday's court decision, which limited the technology giant to delivering only essential goods, while assessing the risk of workers being exposed to corona viruses.
The facilities are the key to preparing orders that are submitted online for delivery to customers.
The court said Amazon France "failed to recognize its obligations regarding the safety and health of its workers" and gave it a month to complete the assessment.
The company said the verdict left them "at a loss" and said it had provided the court with evidence of temperature controls, physical distance orders, and the use of personal protective equipment.
The CGT union informed AFP that a committee of union, worker, and employer representatives had voted to close the locations so that they could be cleaned.
Amazon France's largest union, SUD, brought the company to court, saying workers were forced to work in close proximity.
The SUD welcomed the site's closure, and its representative Laurent Degousee told AFP that the union would look closely to ensure that employees were paid properly.
"We currently continue to operate in the country and are doing everything we can to maintain the level of service," the company said in a French statement.
"However, without being able to use our distribution centers in France, we will be forced to restrict a service that has become essential for millions of people across the country who want access to the products they need during the crisis."
The company said it delivered more than 127,000 packages of disinfectant wipes, 27,000 liters of disinfectant hand gel, and 1.5 million masks.
France, like many other countries, has closed all non-essential stores – in many areas only supermarkets and pharmacies are open.
Online retailers such as Amazon have continued to sell products that are not available elsewhere, and in many countries, Amazon has hired thousands of employees to meet an increase in orders.
Amazon, which had 6,500 permanent and 3,600 temporary workers at six French locations in February, insisted that the security standards be properly followed.
Since the outbreak of the corona virus, it has received five warnings from French labor inspectors and has taken steps to remove three of them.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)