Protest in Tokyo for Amazon delivery workers

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Protest in Tokyo for Amazon delivery workers

A protest rally in Tokyo on November 25 will demand Amazon.com to provide better pay and shorter hours for delivery drivers in Japan who say their current working conditions are cruel and dangerous.

The demonstration in front of the main office of Amazon's Japanese arm in the capital will coincide with Black Friday discount sales offered around the world in a show of solidarity with others working for the e-commerce giant.

The Japan Community Union Federation, an umbrella organization that supports unions of drivers who deliver parcels ordered through Amazon, has announced a planned demonstration at a news conference in Tokyo on November 22.

Members of both the federation and trade unions representing delivery drivers will join the protest.

At the news conference, Takeshi Suzuki, head of the federation, said that grueling hours have been rampant among drivers delivering Amazon packages.

We have received numerous complaints. He said drivers have no time to go to a toilet to relieve themselves because they have so many packages to deliver. They are worried that they may cause an accident if things don't go as they are now. Suzuki said that the federation wants to protect people's right to work by collaboration with others beyond Japan's borders, referring to Amazon's recent move in the United States to lay off people in white-collar positions.

Black Friday deals first began in the United States, and caused crowds of bargain hunters to race for products and even fight each other at stores.

Amazon is offering Black Friday deals, and online retailers are offering their own Black Friday deals.

Most of the drivers who deliver Amazon packages in Japan work as sole proprietors under contracts signed with commissioned shipping companies.

In Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture and Nagasaki in Kyushu formed labor unions earlier this year to demand better working conditions from Amazon and shipping companies.

They said they are effectively Amazon workers because their work is managed by an app provided by the retailer.

The federation will set up a hotline on November 24 to listen to the grievances of Amazon drivers between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.