The Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) led a march to the offices of the National Treasury in Pretoria on Tuesday.
Rampant tax evasion in the tobacco sector, which threatens jobs and deprives Treasury of much-needed revenue, were among their key grievances.
"Our mandate is to protect the jobs of South African workers because they are the fuel of our economy," Katishi Masemola, FAWU general secretary said.
"We know that the illicit trade of tobacco is a huge problem that continues to cripple the development of our economy."
"These criminals are getting away with a wide range of serious offences, including tax evasion, which is in turn, eradicating jobs. Although these criminals are known – absolutely nothing is being done to bring them to book, which is unacceptable."
Participating in the well-attended march were sugar and chicken industry representatives, who demanded that the government address illicit trade and dumping in general.
At the end of the march, a National Treasury representative signed their list of demands and committed that the department would respond within 14 days, as requested.