Pietermaritzburg - Fawu members at Unilever in Pietermaritzburg were on strike over wages, the union said on Friday.

The 220 employees downed tools on January 17 after wage negotiations deadlocked, said Food and Allied Workers' Union (Fawu) spokeswoman Dominique Swartz.

Swartz said the union wanted a 10 percent wage increase, but that the company was offering six percent.

The union was also demanding the reinstatement of employees who had been downgraded.

“Our members are prepared to go on strike indefinitely until management meet their demands.”

Unilever confirmed that some of its workers were on strike.

“Production has been affected and we are trying to manage operations with minimal disruption to all our stakeholders, especially customers,” said spokeswoman Unathi Mgobozi.

She said negotiations were continuing in the hope of reaching an agreement as soon as possible.

Sapa