South Africa's metal workers' union has said it is taking GM's South African subsidiary to the  country's Labour Court to force it to rehire workers laid off since April.

Dow Jones reported that the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) said it also wanted a moratorium on any further cuts and warned other car companies against what it said was similar "unilateral" action and a "psychopathic attitude to workers."

GM South Africa has cut more than 1,300 jobs since 2007, the union said.

"Reasonably, we are starting in the Labour Court of Johannesburg today (Thursday) to seek relief," NUMSA said.