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Daily Digest | Gojek’s courier strike didn’t move the needle

Written by The Uptake Published on     2 mins read

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After a series of gig worker demonstrations, little has changed.

Hi there, it’s Khamila from Jakarta.

When Gojek and Tokopedia announced their merger to form GoTo, the chairman of the online motorcycle driver association told KrASIA that its members hoped this union would lead to better treatment and more incentives for driver-partners. However, that hope is now dashed.

My colleague in Jakarta, Ursula, reported that Gojek’s courier arm for same-day deliveries, GoSend or GoKilat, is slashing driver incentives by more than 50%. Despite this reduction, Gojek didn’t raise drivers’ base pay of IDR 2,000, or USD 0.14, per kilometer.

Drivers say the new remuneration scheme will not give them enough to stay afloat. Responding to the company’s unilateral decision, GoSend drivers have refused orders in protest for three days. The strike ended on Thursday, and it doesn’t look like Gojek is about to budge.

The dispute caught the attention of Indonesia’s Transportation Ministry, which said it will mediate the disagreement between Gojek and GoSend couriers.

This issue once again raises questions about the rights of gig workers. While ride-hailing, logistics, and e-commerce platforms like Gojek, Grab, and Shopee provide opportunities for millions of people in the informal sector, these workers are often in a vulnerable position, because they have no say when their employer decides to, for instance, cut their pay. Financial insecurity remains rife among those who make it possible for these platforms to conduct business.

For drivers whose income is being shaved away, their only resort is to collectively turn off their phones to create a shortage of rides and delivery options. Gojek’s drivers did exactly that during the Eid Holiday in May, and it looks like this GoSend strike won’t be the last protest if companies behind the platform economy do not offer living wages to the people who form the backbone of their operations.

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