Amazon drivers organize a labor union

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A car filled with Amazon packages

A group of self-employed drivers commissioned by shipping companies to deliver packages for Amazon mainly in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, announced the formation of a labor union in a press conference on Monday in Tokyo. They named the union the Yokosuka branch of the Tokyo Union of Amazon delivery workers.

According to the union, it is the first union in Japan that has been formed for Amazon on a workplace basis.

The union said it consists of 10 self-employed men and women in their 20s to 60s who make their deliveries mainly in Yokosuka. The union claims that while the 10 workers have been contracted by three companies, including a Yokohama-based shipping company that undertakes deliveries for Amazon Japan, “they receive commands from Amazon and its subcontractors, and they are essentially the same as workers who are directly employed.”

On the same day, the labor union visited the headquarters of Amazon Japan in Meguro Ward, Tokyo, to request improvements to their working conditions, including shorter working hours.