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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 February 5 - 10  > JCP Kasai calls for labor protections for gig-economy workers
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2020 February 5 - 10 [LABOR]

JCP Kasai calls for labor protections for gig-economy workers

February 5, 2020

Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Kasai Akira on February 4 at a House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting brought up the issue of lack of labor protection for Uber Eats delivery workers to criticize Prime Minister Abe’s policy to expand the use of on-demand workers such as freelancers without any employment rules.

Kasai explained that although delivery persons of Uber Eats perform their work under direct instructions from the service operator Uber, they are treated as self-employed contractors and excluded from labor protections. Kasai also cited the fact that Uber has been rejecting a request for collective bargaining made by the delivery workers’ union which was formed last year with the aim of improving their working conditions, including application of workers’ compensation insurance and proper wage rates.

Kasai pointed out that efforts to establish a system to protect platform-based workers like Uber Eats delivery persons as workers are spreading worldwide, and referred to the French law known as the El Khomri law which was established in 2016. Under the law, Uber Eats delivery workers and other gig-economy workers are eligible for workers’ comp and have the right to collective bargaining.

Kasai said that the Abe government should abandon its plan to promote the use of gig- and platform-based workers without any workers’ protection and instead should work to eliminate the use of workers who have no labor rights.

Past related article:
> Freelance-work industry will expand unstable jobs, threatening people's safety [ May 30, 2018]
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