The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa in Eastern Cape has called on its members in the tyre industry to join the national strike today.
Numsa regional secretary Irvin Jim said it gave employers a 48-hour notice that the strike will start today.
Jim said: "Employers, in a series of meetings, showed a very negative and intransigent attitude to genuine demands for a living wage.
"Numsa reminded them that in the past 13 years they have been doubling their profits, what we call unshed windfalls in profits," he said.
Jim said Numsa has been dismayed and angered by what seemed to be a corporate stance in the tyre industry to spite workers by refusing to give workers what is their due.
Numsa has demanded 15percent across the board, with 10percent differentials between the grades.
Jim said: "The union took such a position in order for employers to make a meaningful offer for this year and the coming two years."
He said: "Managers who do not really work are extravagantly paid dubious salaries. They are the ones who refuse to disclose their salary cost as a percentage of total cost, hiding the gap in salaries between them and ordinary workers, who directly contribute quality production," said Jim.
Telephonic attempts to get comment from the employers were unsuccessful at the time of going to press.