The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on Monday claimed that BMW South Africa had unilaterally changed the terms of service for contract workers.
As a result, Numsa members have embarked on a strike at BMW’s Rosslyn plant, in Pretoria.
Other BMW employees are not participating in the strike.
Numsa said in a statement that BMW was trying to impose a shift rotation system on workers, but that it was refusing to pay shift allowances that had previously been allocated to workers.
Prior to this, fixed-term contract workers on permanent night shift had earned a 28% night shift allowance; however, under the new system, the company is only willing to pay a 23% night shift allowance, Numsa stated.
Numsa further said the company has instituted a lockout against other groups of workers who are not participating in the strike.
BMW on Friday applied for an urgent interdict to block the strike, which had been granted.
Numsa has applied for leave to appeal the interdict, and is continuing with the strike until its demands are met.