Hundreds of Go-Viet motorbike taxi drivers on Thursday gathered at the company’s headquarters in Ho Chi Minh City to express disappointment with its revised incentive scheme that took effect earlier the same day.
Go-Viet drivers began refusing to work by turning off the app on their smartphones and staged the strike at the ride-hailing company’s building on Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street in District 3 from the early morning to the late afternoon.
Starting at 5:00 am on Thursday morning, the new Go-Viet policy adjusted the requirements for drivers to earn cash rewards from the app.
A driver now has to gain 80 points, a three-fold increase from the previous 28-point requirement, to receive rewards from the company.
The bonus was also slightly raised by more than 30 percent, from VND180,000 to VND240,000. (US$1 = VND23,255)
Go-Viet drivers earn ‘points’ after each completed trip and are allowed to cash out rewards provided after they reach the bonus threshold.
A higher threshold means drivers have to work significantly harder for an incentive increase of just 33 percent.
Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that Go-Viet held off announcing the policy change until 4:00 pm the day before it came into effect, according to Nguyen Van Quy, who has driven for the ride-hailing app for more than one year.
|Go-Viet drivers are seen at a protest at the company’s headquarters in Ho Chi Minh City, July 18, 2019. Photo: T. Dung / Tuoi Tre|
“The number of trips drivers have to complete every day to be eligible for the reward is now two to three times higher than it used to be,” another Go-Viet who took part in Thursday’s strike told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
Many of the drivers present at the protest conceded that the company does have the right to change its policy, but it should have consulted its drivers before doing so.
At around 3:30 pm, when the number of drivers gathering in front of the Go-Viet office rose to more than 300, local police officers were dispatched to the scene in order to manage traffic and prevent congestion.
At 5:45 pm that day, Go-Viet issued a press release claiming the new incentive scheme is meant to help drivers increase their earnings.
“With a progressive and open-minded spirit, we always try to listen and bring benefits to both our drivers and customers,” said Nguyen Kien, Go-Viet’s partnership development manager.
Go-Viet, the Vietnamese version of Indonesian transportation network Go-Jek, was officially launched in Vietnam in August 2018.
It currently offers the ride-hailing service Go-Bike, delivery service Go-Send, and food delivery service Go-Food.
Less than a year since its debut in Vietnam, the firm now boasts about 100,000 drivers nationwide.