A non-striking truck driver was dragged out of his vehicle, stripped naked, paraded on the streets and forced to join the Satawu strike in the Johannesburg city centre yesterday.
The strikers then clashed with the police who wanted to rescue the naked driver. Police fired rubber bullets, injuring more than 15 protesters.
Police said the man was kidnapped from Selby and was dragged to join the strikers who had converged at Beyers Naude Square.
"The man was assaulted and police had to rescue him," said Captain Julia Klaassen.
She said no arrests were made.
Satawu Gauteng secretary Xolani Nyamezele condemned the reaction by the police.
Nyamezele said Satawu had held a meeting with Gauteng MEC for community safety Firoz Cachalia yesterday "to discuss police brutality".
The Satawu strike is entering its second week and petrol stations are continuing to run dry.
"I have not had petrol for three days since Saturday. I only got it yesterday," said Dlamini Shell station manager Joe Leso.
He said he asked police to escort the driver.
The union is demanding a 13percent increase and four months' paid maternity leave with a job guarantee on return to work. It is also demanding that general workers' minimum salary be increased to R3000 from R2000.
The Road Freight Employers' Association is offering increases of between 10,5percent and 11percent.