THE meat industry has been hit by a nationwide strike that has left South Africa's about 150 abattoirs without meat quality assurers.
International Meat Quality Assurance Services, which provides abattoirs with meat quality assurers, had to put contingency measures in place yesterday to ensure meat quality assurance continued so that meat could be distributed.
About 250 meat inspectors, graders, classifiers and examiners affiliated to the Congregated and Allied Workers Union of SA (Cawusa) went on an indefinite strike yesterday in demand of a 15% wage increase across the board.
A handful of the striking workers picketed outside the company's headquarters in Lynwood, Pretoria East, and vowed to continue with the industrial action until they get a satisfying response from their employer. Cawusa general secretary Thomas Nkeane said wage negotiations deadlocked in October and the matter went to the CCMA.
The dispute was to be heard on November 26 but the employer requested 14 days to assess the demand. "After that, the management requested more time to consult with abattoirs.
At the end of January they got calls from some members saying their salaries were increased, while others were not, Nkeane said.