Amazon’s French warehouses are close to reopening roughly a month after they closed. The internet retailer said it planned a gradual reopening starting on May 19th as it came close to reaching a deal with French unions and work councils on safety measures to protect against COVID-19. It’s not clear just how quickly the facilities will come back online, but it promises to widen deliveries beyond essential items like food and healthcare products.
The shutdowns came after French courts limited shipments to essentials until Amazon conducted risk evaluations at the warehouses. The courts found that Amazon hadn’t provided sufficiently sanitary conditions in some areas, and that it hadn’t factored aspects like mental well-being into its work schedules and teams. Amazon closed the warehouses in part due to alleged ambiguity over the nature of essential products.
The company has been implementing stricter safety measures in warehouses, such as temperature checks. France’s order to limit shipments added to existing pressure, though, and the it’s clear that workers will take further action if they’re convinced Amazon still isn’t doing enough to safeguard employees.