VITROLLES, France (Reuters) - Staff working in a supermarket of French retailer Carrefour CARR.PA in the southern city of Vitrolles will receive protective masks after some employees walked out over health risks associated with the coronavirus, a union said on Monday.
Employees had criticized working conditions after some have tested positive for coronavirus, the union said.
French law gives workers a “droit de retrait” - or “right to withdraw” - under legislation introduced by Socialist President Francois Mitterrand in the early 1980s, if they feel there is a danger to their safety.
“Management just provided us with masks and we are in the process of setting up a distribution protocol so that returning to work would happen in the best conditions,” the CGT union’s representative, Reda Longar, told Reuters.
The supermarket at Vitrolles, near Marseille, has 515 employees.
A Carrefour spokeswoman also told Reuters that the company would distribute 2 million masks to its staff across the country.
Since French authorities ordered a lockdown and social distancing measures in mid-March to fight the coronavirus outbreak spread, Carrefour has put up protective barriers for cashiers.
Reporting by Marc Leras; Additional reporting by Caroline Pailliez; Writing by Matthieu Protard; Editing by Alex Richardson
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