Drivers who work for Indonesia’s Uber equivalent, Gojek, have gone on strike for three days in response to some of the payments they receive being halved.
Around 1,000 drivers across the nation organised their protests in a WhatsApp group. Among their tactics was sending flowers and a card to Gojek’s offices in Kemang. One of the cards roughly translates as “Condolences on the death of your conscience.”
Karangan bunga (KB) sudah ditaruh di Kantor Gojek. Sempat terjadi sdkit keriburan karena pihak Gojek menolak KB ditaruh di luar pagar, alasanny agar tidak diambil Satpol PP. Pihak driver kecewa dng tindakan trsbut & menilai sbgai cara agar masy tak tahu bhwa ada problem di Gojek. pic.twitter.com/BlKGO2Miry
— Arif Novianto (@arifnovianto_id) June 8, 2021
The pay cut follows Gojek’s merger with Indonesian e-commerce biz Tokopedia last month. Following the merger, the group is now known as the “GoTo Group” and offers e-commerce, electric payments and logistic services, alongside Gojek’s original ride-hailing and delivery services.
Drivers heard about the cuts, which came into effect Tuesday, in an in-person meeting between driver representatives and Gojek on June 2nd. The new pay rates vary by region. Drivers in Greater Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital city, have historically received IDR2000 (US$0.14) foe each kilometre they drive. Pre-merger they also received a bonus of IDR10,000 (US$0.70) for every five complete deliveries.
The bonus rate has now been halved. Drivers have demanded Gojek return to its pre-merger pay schemes.
Gojek told CNN that the new system is better for the drivers because it no longer requires them to make five deliveries before receiving their bonus, even if the bonus is lower.
Talks between drivers and Gojek have so far proven unproductive . Meanwhile, the app used by the drivers, called GoKilat, or GoSend in English, has seen its rating plummet. At the time of writing, it had 16,301 reviews and its rating has fallen to just over two stars.
Two months ago GoTo’s competitor, Singapore-headquartered e-commerce platform Shopee, experienced a driver strike over similar wage reductions.
Researchers working through the Institute of Governance and Public Affairs (IGPA) — Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia studied the country’s online transport and courier industry and called the description of them as “partnerships” fictitious – since control, decisions and data access are in the hands of the platform. The researchers called for Indonesia to better regulate the driver gig economy.
GoTo Group has said the combined gross transaction value conducted by Tokopedia and Gojek is around US$22bn, equivalent two per cent of Indonesia’s gross domestic product. ®