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Gojek’s GoKilat drivers are forming a workers’ alliance as strikes spread to other companies

Written by Ursula Florene Published on     2 mins read

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Couriers of logistics company Lalamove are protesting late payments and a harsh penalty system.

Drivers of Gojek’s GoSend Same Day delivery service, GoKilat, are planning to form an alliance to continue the fight for their rights. The move comes after a three-day strike in response to Gojek’s reduced bonus scheme failed to yield results.

Yulianto, a GoKilat driver and appointed spokesperson for the strike, told KrASIA that drivers were initially planning to establish a workers union, but abandoned the idea after reviewing the administrative requirements. “To form a union, we must get approval from the parent company [Gojek]. We want to be independent, so maybe we will go with an alliance or other form [of organization],” he said.

The drivers have resumed their work after striking despite the reduced bonus rate. Yulianto added that the drivers are actively reviewing the legal requirements and regulations, and are consulting with legal experts.

A professor of labor law from the University of Indonesia, Aloysius Uwiyono, said that the alliance model suits the objective of the GoKilat couriers due to their contracts as driver-partners with the company. “A Gojek worker union is formed by Gojek’s employees and workers. But a GoKilat driver alliance will be a social organization formed by Gojek’s driver-partners,” he said. “They have the same legal position as a workers union.”

This means the alliance will operate under the Civil Organization Law (UU 17/2013) and must be registered with the Law and Human Rights Ministry, Uwiyono added.

The GoKilat drivers’ strike caught the attention of the Ministry of Transportation (Kemenhub) and Ministry of Labor (Kemenaker). Kemenhub planned to summon representatives from Gojek and the drivers to mediate the situation, but Kemenaker has taken a tougher stance publicly, saying it will impose administrative sanctions on companies that violate the rights of their workers, and even revoke their business licenses if necessary, according to local media Tempo.

“We always comply with all relevant laws and regulations that apply in Indonesia, in line with the company’s good corporate governance obligations,” a Gojek spokesperson told KrASIA, referring to the Post Law (UU 38/2009) and Communication and Information Ministry Regulation 1/2012, which regulates the per-kilometer tariff scheme and incentive scheme for commercial postal services.

The GoKilat drivers’ strike follows protests in April by Shopee Express couriers, who expressed anger over pay cuts. As GoKilat drivers returned to work on Thursday, a small number of Indonesian couriers who work for Hong Kong logistics company Lalamove entered day two of their own protest. According to a tweet circulated on Sunday, the couriers were displeased by late payments by the company and harsh penalties that include swift suspensions of drivers.

However, a source familiar with the situation said that the move was just a “spontaneous reaction” following the GoKilat strike. “The drivers are still debating. We will share more once we are done,” said the person, who asked not to be named for fear of backlash from the company.

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