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Uber Eats delivery staff in Japan form labor union

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It's shameful that they had to organize for the firm to provide insurance.

fwiw, it sounds like the most popular restaurant on Uber Eats is McDonalds.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

In Japan, more than three million people are estimated to be working as freelancers

They use that term too freely in Japan. Freelancers are traditionally individuals with marketable skills that decide offer their services to a company on their own terms. Just because you take a job as a delivery driver and listed as an independent contractor for the company doesn't make you a freelancer. The company simply is skating over having to provide proper benefits to employees.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

There are an estimated 15,000 Uber Eats platformers in Japan. Delivery staff using bicycles and motorcycles are directed by the company to pick up food and beverages at restaurants via the Uber Eats application.

17 drivers out of an estimated 15,000 formed the union? I wonder where they pulled the 15,000 from? Uber is not a well known name here in Japan, and I wonder how they got so many drivers?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

That will negate the cost-saving purpose for the customers.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I heard on the news that before they formed the union they had no insurance if they got into a traffic accident. I think that would be the first thing I need when getting a delivery job.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I heard on the news that before they formed the union they had no insurance if they got into a traffic accident. I think that would be the first thing I need when getting a delivery job.

If they didnt have insurance of their own, they shouldn't be on the street!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Good. Uber sucks.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

There are quite a few commercials for the company and I have seen several riders delivering food in Kansai.

More remote islands of Japan may not be covered at the moment.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

While I dislike the hype around companies like this who use tech gobbledygook like workers as "platformers", and also am not interested in paying restaurant prices for something cooked thirty minutes ago, I do like riding a bike and have met people who've worked as cycle couriers. I can think of many worse jobs to do.

It costs way less to personally buy and maintain a bike than a taxi, so this strikes me as far less exploitative than the Uber taxi thing.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

 Uber is not a well known name here in Japan,

I'm guessing that depends on where you live. I live and work in central Tokyo and see these guys all the time. Lots of my favorite places now have signs saying "Uber Eats Staff, please Use the Kitchen Door." I even saw a young red-headed guy riding a bicycle with an UberEats pack a couple nights ago.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I opened UBERBIKES and it is less costly for everyone. The staff likes the exercise and benefits. The overhead is much cheaper and still taking on new staff daily. If you stay longer than a 6 months the bike is yours free. You earned it. This UBER EATS using cars is too costly to both customers and drivers. Not fair if driver has to assume overhead costs such as parking that is difficult downtown.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Some mistake Uber Taxi (not permited in Japan) vs. Uber Eats - delivery service that the couriers can only use bicycles or motorcicles up to 125cc.

Good for them to rise up and fight for better conditions. Don't know if the model has accounted for such expenses but we will see...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

fwiw, it sounds like the most popular restaurant on Uber Eats is McDonalds.

Uber eats has nothing to do about food its all about Uber getting a presence in the Japanese market. Uber end game is ride sharing, theyve now joined with Toyota and Toyota are pushing hard for autonomous vehicles and taxis to become the norm and theyre the ones wholl be manufacturing them. Toyota political power is clearly showing as they bribe oops lobby the J government to make autonomous taxis a reality. and with Ubers huge international presence the make a good match. Call Uber whatever you want theyve clearly positioned themselves well and im guessing theyll have the last laugh in the end. Taxi drivers days are numbered

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Well done. The "gig economy" is modern-day servitude, and it should be stamped out, despite (or because of) Keidanren's support for it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

to protect freelancers from being treated disadvantageously.

Eeeek, what convoluted English. Could they just say, "to prevent freelances from being unfairly exploited?"

3 ( +3 / -0 )

glorified mcdonalds delivery people need insurance?

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

@dango bong

Yes? If a company is making money while requiring workers to do work that involve risks, it should also be paying for the insurance for them to take that risk and for the lost income/medical expenses if the employee gets injured in the course of work. That seems like pretty basic worker protection.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

glorified mcdonalds delivery people need insurance?

Yes, because they might cause a traffic accident. The more kms you do and the more you are in a hurry, the more likely it's going to be. In an increasing number of places in Japan, liability insurance is now mandatory for cyclists. As advice, check your home fire (kasai) insurance because that might cover your family already.

btw, I only mentioned that lots of folks get McDonalds from Uber Eats because their adverts usually show shiny happy people ordering in gourmet food. People are free to get what they want of course, but it strikes me as poor value compared to just having in some convenience foods, or staples like pesto, for times when you can't be bothered cooking.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

All delivery people in Japan must for an union. But pls make sure that the union form deals with facts without fear and correct justice brought on.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

See these guys everywhere now its really taking off pretty sure lots of Hikikomoris will benefit from this..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't see the point in forming a union WITHIN the company. If they formed a union with workers in other companies doing similar work, they might stand a chance.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Is this an issue? Workers should have the right to protect themselves from companies who feed on their flesh and blood.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I hope they are able to win the right to do so, but... something tells me, that they won't as Uber's Lawyers will find some way of wriggling out of it - maybe by greasing a hand or two.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm a western Uber bicycle deliver guy in Tokyo. It can be dangerous out there, almost had a number of accidents. But, it IS also my gym, $2000 per month range income, and a bike is like zero expenses.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If they didnt have insurance of their own, they shouldn't be on the street!

You aren't in Kansas anymore. Here in Japan there is a government mandated scam known as "jibaiseki". You need to buy this when your vehicle comes up for its tax/ inspection period. Its supposed to be insurance but all Japanese I have talked to, including employers, says it won't cover any real costs and pretty much no one can get a single yen out of it. Many employers will insist you get separate, REAL insurance as a condition of employment. So you are paying for two insurance policies now. So yeah. People strapped for cash won't get the REAL insurance when they are already forced to pay for the scam insurance and its legally enough.

So its not really a question of who should be on the street. Its a question of who should be in the government.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Teach them how to ride first, I cycle daily and these cretins need to learn how.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Uber bikers and other commercial riders should require a test and license to ensure their safety and that of the public and additional insurance to cover accidents. Most prefectures now require bikers to have insurance. Commercial bikers should be using the road and not the sidewalks with their big bags.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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