South Africa's vehicle manufacturing industry has come to a near standstill as about 30 000 workers downed tools on Monday after pay talks deadlocked last month.
According to Naamsa, the stoppage is set to cost the industry about R600-million a day in lost production, as it effects "the entire value chain of the industry."
Five of the seven local manufacturers, including Toyota, Ford and General Motors, said production had been halted or affected.
Underpinned by government incentives, the industry contributes at least 6 percent to GDP and accounts for 12 percent of exports.
The strike was called last week by the National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa), which is demanding a 14 percent across-the-board wage increase and 100 percent payment if the employer instituted a short-term or temporary lay-off.
Mashilo said the short-term or temporary lay-off applied when logistical problems in the supply of components occurred and workers were given notice to go home.
"Workers are tired of being sent home when the logistical system breaks down and not receiving salaries. These workers have no other employer and so they must be paid while companies have put them on short-term or temporary lay-off," Numsa chief negotiator Alex Mashilosaid Mashilo.
The workers were also demanding a R750 housing subsidy and R125 transport allowance per week.
Meetings between the two sides were scheduled for later on Monday.
Toyota said 80 percent of its 8000-strong workforce had not turned up for work. BMW SA’s Guy Kilfoil said the strike was costing it 345 cars a day.
"We work 24 hours, seven days a week. There is no production and there is no plan to make it up," he said.
Wages in the sector range from about R8500 a month for basic workers to R18 000 a month for qualified technicians. -Reuters & Sapa