Solidarity is considering withdrawing its members from certain metal and engineering sector employers after a strike turned violent on Monday, a union spokesman said.
“It took place at two manufacturers in Durban... all I know is there was stone throwing and vehicle damage,” said Gideon du Plessis, deputy general secretary of Solidarity.
“We've just basically informed the employer the employees will stop working unless they can guarantee the safety of our employees.”
The incidents were allegedly linked to a countrywide strike by several other trade unions, representing an estimated 170,000 workers, in the engineering sector which started on Monday to press for higher wages.
“Solidarity is concerned that the relevant employers cannot guarantee the safety of Solidarity members who are still working,” said Du Plessis.
Solidarity members had not joined the strike but the union would announce its final decision on the wage offer next week.
It was still obtaining a mandate from its 27,000 members in the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council.
“The possibility of a strike is not excluded and Solidarity will announce its members' decision next week,” said Du Plessis.
Du Plessis said they would have a better idea of the effect of strike-related violence by the end of Monday.
The union was also concerned that some employers had sent lock-out notices to Solidarity, even though its members were not striking.
“Our members were also locked out, we lodged a complaint, and the employers said they would immediately rectify it. We are waiting for confirmation that this has happened,” said Du Plessis. - Sapa