About two thousand motor industry workers and petrol attendants marched in Johannesburg on Wednesday to demand better wages.

Motor industry workers and petrol attendants marched in Johannesburg on Wednesday to demand better wages.

The protesters marched to the Fuel Retailers’ Association (FRA) in Randburg and the Retail Motor Industry after the deadlock in wage negotiations between the employers and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa. The workers want a 15 per cent pay raise, but the employers are offering 7,7 per cent.

The employers said they could only pay more if they can increase volume sales. According to , there are about 55 000 workers in the fuel retail industry, who earn an average of R5,11 an hour.

Numsa spokesman Dumisa Ntuli said there would be widespread national strikes if demands were not met.

The chief executive of the FRA, Peter Morgan, said the employers and union representatives would meet next Thursday to discuss the deadlock.

Morgan told the newspaper they could only pay more if oil firms stopped building new petrol stations and increased throughput at existing stations. He said there was an overcapacity of between 20 and 25 per cent.