London (CNN Business)Amazon may suspend its distribution activity in France after a court ruled it had to stop all non-essential deliveries during the coronavirus pandemic.
The ruling on Tuesday followed the filing of a complaint by a French labor union which accused the online delivery giant of endangering the lives of workers. In a statement Wednesday, the company said it was “perplexed” by the court ruling that ordered Amazon (AMZN) to restrict its local delivery operations to essential goods only, or face a penalty of 1 million euros ($1.1 million) for each day it failed to comply.
“Our interpretation of the ruling suggests we might have to suspend the activities of our in-country fulfilment network in France,” an Amazon spokesperson said, “We’re working rapidly to understand the judgment and evaluate our options, and we expect to appeal.”France suspended all non-essential business last month, a measure that is set to remain in place until May 11. Read MoreThe French court on Tuesday also required that the company carry out an assessment of the “occupational risks inherent in the Covid-19 epidemic” in all of its warehouses.
In its statement, Amazon said it has already implemented safety measures including “temperature checks, masks, and enforced social distancing which have received the approval of health and safety representatives at multiple sites.”Amazon has faced criticism in the United States over the health and safety of workers as it faces increasing demands on its services during the pandemic. Last week, the company said it may begin firing employees who “intentionally violate” its social distancing guidelines, despite complaints from workers who say the demands of their job make it impossible to comply with the policy.