Laurent Degousée, co-delegate of the SUD Commerce federation at Amazon France, returns this Monday to the rejection of the partial unemployment scheme by the state to the e-commerce giant. A “wise decision” according to the unionist.
The government Monday, May 4, retaliated a request for partial unemployment of the American giant Amazon, forced by justice to reduce its activities under penalty of fine and who intended to receive this “aid” from the French State in the same way as others companies put in economic difficulty by containment. “It would have been incongruous for partial unemployment to be granted” at Amazon, estimates Monday May 4 on franceinfo Laurent Degousée, co-delegate of the SUD Commerce federation at Amazon France. According to him, Amazon behaves in a way “haughty” and refuses to address the substantive issue of returning to work for workers.
franceinfo: Do you think this rejection of partial unemployment for Amazon is justified and why did the company want to get it?
Laurent Degousée: It is a wise decision. It would have been doubly incongruous that partial unemployment be granted to Amazon. There are two reasons. The first is that it was Amazon, and no one else, not even the justice system, that chose to temporarily close its six warehouses. The second is that, even when these French warehouses are closed, business continues. You can still order from Amazon and be delivered from a number of European warehouses. Partial unemployment is intended for companies, and therefore behind employees, who materially cannot open. I think in the first place of those of the restoration. It is not a question of “we want” or “we do not want”, they have no right to open. They are subject to this necessity. Unfortunately, Amazon has been in a haughty position since the start of this business. She believes, because it is certainly an important enterprise, that she is entitled to a certain number of freebies. This was already the case in terms of activity. This was the case in her reaction to the two court decisions, which she nevertheless initiated on one of them. If you dare, why not go and ask for government subsidies from the government? This operation, this way of doing things was once again sanctioned. She failed. We hope that it will finally be the occasion to be able to discuss in a fair way how we restart the warehouse activity, in complete safety for the employees.
You ask that we can reopen the warehouses, resume work?
This is what we have never stopped doing, including when we were scrapped in court. However, this requires serious discussion and not just the number of wipes or the number of masks. This implies, for example, accepting less activity at first or employing fewer workers. This poses no problem for other companies, whether French or foreign. What is partially obvious in the warehouses is the overcrowding. It is a source of spread of this virus. This is why justice has imposed, in fact, less activity by focusing on so-called essential products, even if this list was later enlarged.
Do you have a date for a possible reopening, for now Amazon has stopped warehouses until May 5? Is this a form of pressure to open or close warehouses?
We have no date today. It is not conceivable that business will resume, that the warehouses will restart as if nothing had happened as of May 6. We are expecting yet another extension. What we hope is that this extension will be used to discuss for real, how employees will find their place of work? We hope that Amazon will not continue to play the watch for a long time and that we can finally discuss the substance. That is to say: under what conditions will employees be able to resume without taking the risk of being infected again? If we find ourselves again in litigation, I think that it would not grow anyone.