Johannesburg - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on Thursday instructed workers to stop their "unprotected" strike or face disciplinary action.
This as workers affiliated with the Broadcasting, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) and Communication Workers Union (CWU) protested outside the broadcaster's Auckland Park offices, demanding a 10% salary increase from the broadcaster.
The strike erupted after wage negotiations between the unions and management collapsed on Wednesday, with workers being told the broadcaster had no money for increases.
It is expected to go on for two days.
In a memorandum issued to employees, management denounced the strike, declaring it illegal.
"SABC management is extremely concerned that you have participated in an unprotected protest action called by Bemawu based on the following reasons and circumstances.
"Bemawu is aware and has knowledge that the correct and proper procedures have not been followed."
The memo further detailed reasons the strike was unprotected, saying CWU had called it off on October 31 because, among others reasons, of the fact that some of the demands made by the union could not be acceded to by management.
Striking workers were then ordered to end the unprotected strike or return to work immediately or face disciplinary action.
Despite these threats, workers were adamant in their demands, vowing to continue striking until they received their increase.
"As workers we can't accept it when management says there's no money... It's clear who stole the money.
"As workers we're demanding 10% across the board... we've got bills to pay and families to take care of," one striker said.
A mediator has since been appointed to facilitate discussions between workers and management.