China to let ride-hailing drivers, delivery workers form unions – Xinhua

Delivery worker of Ele.me wearing a face mask, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), picks up food from a kitchen of a takeaway restaurant, in Beijing
A delivery worker of Ele.me wearing a face mask, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), picks up food from a kitchen of a takeaway restaurant, in Beijing, China July 9, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

December 17, 2021

BEIJING (Reuters) -China plans to amend laws to allow ride-hailing drivers and food delivery workers to form unions, state media reported on Friday.

China will review the amendment on its trade union law starting December and plans to add rules to expand the type of organisations and work for which unions can be formed, the spokesperson for China’s parliament’s Legislative Affairs Commission Yue Zhongming said at a news conference on Friday, according to Xinhua.

Chinese authorities have targeted platform companies driving the so-called “gig economy” this year, as part of a wave of regulatory tightening that has lasted over a year.

In July China’s top market regulator issued a set of guidelines urging food delivery companies to guarantee couriers an income above minimum pay and other protections.

Later, ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing and e-commerce company JD.com announced they would establish company-wide unions for their staff.

All unions in China are required to register with the government-backed All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACTFU). To date, such unions have largely been confined to sectors such as manufacturing and transport.

(Reporting by Albee Zhang in Beijing and Brenda Goh and Josh Horwitz in Shanghai; Editing by Christopher Cushing & Shri Navaratnam)