Durban - Workers at the Toyota Boshoku factory in Durban have rejected the employer's offer of a retention bonus, their trade union said on Wednesday.
"We had a meeting with the employer and R300 was offered, with the condition of workers not being absent," KwaZulu-Natal Numsa regional secretary Mbuso Ngubane said.
Ngubane said 480 workers affiliated to the National Union of Metalworkers of SA wanted a R1500 retention bonus. They had embarked on an indefinite strike and picketed outside the factory on Wednesday.
The factory makes seats and door trims for Toyota vehicles.
Toyota SA Motors spokesperson Leo Kok said production at the Prospecton plant in Durban was halted because of the strike.
Toyota Boshoku was an independent component supplier to Toyota SA Motors.
"It is important to note the strike was not instigated or supported by employees of Toyota SA Motors and that the plant continued with planned production until the Boshoku strike stopped component supply," he said.
The Durban Labour Court granted the workers the right to strike.
Ngubane said the dispute started in 2009, when the company decided to give only one category of workers, the artisans, a R1500 retention bonus. He said the decision was taken outside the bargaining chamber.
Numsa wanted the bonus given to all workers at the factory.
Toyota Boshoku was not immediately available to comment.