Some 70,000 construction workers in South Africa have gone on strike, halting work on stadiums being built for the 2010 World Cup.
Unions are threatening to continue the strike as long as necessary if their demands for a 13% wage increase are not met. Organisers say they are confident the grounds will still be ready, unless the strike continues for months.
On Monday judges rejected a request from the employers to outlaw the strike, which unions say is indefinite. Scores of workers are outside Soccer City stadium wearing blue overalls and brandishing sticks.
"We are struggling for our country," they chanted after downing their tools at midday.
Soccer City union organiser Patrick Geqeza blamed management inflexibility for precipitating the strike.
"We feel bad about going on strike. [But] they don't want to meet us half way," he said. At present most of the workers are being paid 2,500 rand ($310; £192) a month.
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), whose members include construction workers, has rejected the 10% wage increase offer from employers.
"The government must help us, otherwise we are going to delay 2010. We will strike until 2011," NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka is quoted as saying.
Protesters outside Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium were forced to disperse because their application to protest was turned down. Before they left, the NUM's Bhekani Ngcobo told workers the union would make sure that no temporary labourers were employed.
Five entirely new stadiums are being built for the World Cup, while five are being modernised. Correspondents say if the strike continues, projects such as the high-speed rail link between the airport and Johannesburg will be of greater concern than the stadiums.