Workers at the County Fair chicken factory in Stellenbosch claim that they were fired at with paintball guns while picketing, according to a media report.

The workers claimed they were shot at by security guards while protesting outside the Muldersvlei offices on Monday, the Cape Argus reported.

About 100 people gathered on the R304 outside the offices, marching slowly, singing and waving sticks. The group was demanding R1 500 a week. They claimed they were paid about R499 a week after deductions.

The strike started last Wednesday but operations had not ceased at the factory.

Astral Foods poultry director Theo Delport told the newspaper it had to count costs.

“The chicken industry is in crisis at the moment,” said Delport. “It’s all about affordability, but it doesn’t help our cause if the strikers are damaging property.”

He denied that shots were fired by security guards. – Sapa