Amazon expects to extend France warehouse closures to May 18

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics center in Lauwin-Planque, northern France, April 22, 2020 after Amazon extended the closure of its French warehouses until April 25 included, following dispute with unions over health protection measures amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

PARIS (Reuters) – Amazon (AMZN.O) plans to extend until May 18 the closure of its six French warehouses, which have been closed since April 16 after court rulings ordering the U.S. e-commerce giant to restrict deliveries during the coronavirus pandemic.

Amazon said on Wednesday it was continuing to consult with staff representatives and was also reviewing their request to include an independent expert in the process.

“Our fulfilment centres are safe. However, the potential penalty outlined by the Versailles Court of Appeal means that even a rate of 0.1% of handling or shipping items that are not included in the judgement could lead to a fine of more than a billion euros per week,” Amazon said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, this means we have no option but to keep our fulfilment centres in France temporarily closed. We therefore anticipate a further extension of the temporary closure until May 18,” it added.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Jason Neely and Alexander Smith

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