Uber Eats deliverers form labor union

Seventeen deliverers for the food order service Uber Eats in Japan have formed a labor union to seek better working conditions.

The workers and their lawyer announced this at a news conference in Tokyo on Thursday.

Uber Eats is run by US ride-sharing giant Uber.

Delivery staff are free to decide when to work, but face problems because they are sole proprietors and do not have employment contracts with the company.

For example, if they are injured in accidents during work, they are not covered by workers' compensation insurance.

Union representative Tomio Maeba said many deliverers have voiced the need for help in case of accidents and other problems.

He said they will negotiate with the company over such matters.

Uber Eats this month started paying up to 250,000 yen, or over 2,300 dollars, for treating injuries suffered in accidents during delivery.

But lawyer Yoshihito Kawakami called such compensation insufficient. He said he wants to use the union to improve the work environment and help protect people at a time when work styles have diversified.