SEOUL, July 30 (Korea Bizwire) — A labor union representing gig workers of food delivery apps submitted an application to the government Thursday to be officially recognized as a labor union.
Members of Rider Union held a press conference in front of the labor ministry’s Seoul district office in central Seoul, asking the government to issue a document that recognizes the group as a labor union.
The document officially acknowledges organizations as labor unions under local law, effectively giving them bargaining power in labor talks.
The labor union, which represents the country’s growing legion of food delivery app workers, has secured labor union registration from the Seoul city government.
If the labor ministry approves the group’s registration, it would be recognized as a labor union on a national basis.
South Korea’s gig economy has grown explosively over the past few years on the success of food delivery apps such as Baemin and Yogiyo, which formed a 10 trillion-won (US$8 billion) market in 2018.
There were roughly 500,000 gig economy workers in Asia’s fourth-largest economy in 2019, or around 2 percent of all employed workers, according to the Korea Employment Information Service.