MORE than 100 workers at Goodyear South Africa's Uitenhage plant downed tools yesterday demanding they be paid for relief duty.
The company said production had been affected by the strike.
National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) regional secretary Phumzile Nodongwe said they had been in talks with management for more than two months.
"They want to take away the relief duty money and it is huge money that makes a lot of difference on the workers' salaries.
"What used to happen is that when some people went on lunch, some were left behind working.
"But now they want the workers to continue doing the same work but do not want to pay for it.
"They say they cannot continue paying the workers for relief duty because it is costing the company," Nodongwe said.
He said they would only go back to work when an agreement had been reached.
"We will strike until they come to us with a better offer or solution to this matter. Our doors are open to negotiations.
"They said they are prepared to give the affected workers from October to December a lump sum but in tranches, but we do not want that," he said.
Lize Hayward, Goodyear group communications manager, confirmed the legal strike.
"We believe that we have made reasonable proposals to address Numsa's demands. Despite this Numsa still selected to go on strike.
"Goodyear remains committed to work with the union on an appropriate solution. Production has been negatively impacted by the strike," Hayward said.