Go-Jek drivers fired for using fake GPS threaten 5,000-strong protest in Jakarta if not reinstated by company

Forum Komunitas Driver Online Indonesia (FKD OI) gathering in Jakarta on Oct 21, 2018.
Screenshot: Forum warga Kota Jakarta / Facebook
Forum Komunitas Driver Online Indonesia (FKD OI) gathering in Jakarta on Oct 21, 2018. Screenshot: Forum warga Kota Jakarta / Facebook

With Go-Jek and Grab both having hundreds of thousands of “partner drivers” working for them in Indonesia, it’s no surprise that more than a few of them would attempt to cheat the system. In fact, the ride-hailing rivals have previously announced mass firings of thousands of drivers who violated their contracts by using software like fake GPS that can show them in a different location or create fake orders.

Now a group of ex-Go-Jek drivers from Forum Komunitas Driver Online Indonesia (FKD OI) are protesting their former employer for unilaterally suspending their accounts and say that if they aren’t reinstated they’ll hold a mass protest this Thursday at the company’s head office with around 5,000 former drivers.

Mohammad Rahman Tohir, the chair of FKD OI, issued the deadline at one of the group’s gatherings yesterday and told his fellow members that the protest would be peaceful and only be used to put pressure on the company.

FKD OI claims to have registered 5,000 former drivers in the Greater Jakarta Area who had their Go-Jek accounts suspended. Out of those, Rahman said about two-thirds had been fired for using fake GPS software.

Rahman acknowledged that using the misleading location software was against Go-Jek terms of employment, but said his fellow drivers should at least be given a second chance since Go-Jek did not offer any solutions to the problems that led to drivers using Fake GPS.

“We know fake GPS is not allowed by the office, but we use the application because we are asked by the office to stay in alleyways. If we’re all on the roadside it’s unsightly, it causes congestion. Not to mention the problem of traditional ojek (motorcycle taxis). So we use fake GPS to get passengers,” Rahman said as quoted by CNN Indonesia.

Rahman argued that drivers only used the software to spoof locations a little closer to areas where there were more customers because the company did not provide any shelters for them in those areas.

He also promised that if the company were to reactivate their accounts, the drivers would swear to not use fake GPS again and would work harder for being treated with forgiveness by the company.

“Calling us nakal (naughty) drivers is fine, but we were only working smart so that we would not be too tired because our working hours are very long to be able to hit our targets,” Rahman said.

Go-Jek has yet to issue a response to FKD OI’s threatened protest.

While many ride-hailing drivers have used software to try and cheat their companies, many have also complained that the companies give them difficult to reach targets, taking into account things they can’t control such as customer cancellation rates and ratings, and some have argued they use the illicit software just to be able to earn a decent wage from the company.


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