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Everything about Solidarity membership


Who are we?

Solidarity is your partner, your older brother in the workplace, as it were – the one who has been protecting its members’ rights against exploitation in the workplace since 1902; the one who even creates job security for you as a professional individual.


Solidarity currently offers a dependable service to approximately 140 000 members in all occupational fields, collectively and professionally, and has the passion and knowledge to look after its members’ interests and to ensure that their rights are protected in the workplace. The union has more than 20 offices countrywide and members are served by more than 300 staff members and 1 275 union representatives in thousands of companies. In short: Solidarity ensures that its members receive the necessary assistance to protect their work and therefore their income, because your job is our job!




The Solidarity of today dates back to 22 June 1902 when the Transvaal Miners’ Association was founded. The trade union Solidarity  celebrated its 110th anniversary in 2012. Solidarity therefore has 110 years’ experience in South Africa’s labour market.


In its 110 years the trade union underwent four major transformations. Many South Africans will be familiar with the Mineworkers’ Union, that is the MWU, which was the name the Transvaal Miners’ Association’s adopted in 1913. In 2001 the MWU changed to MWU-Solidarity and since 2002 the trade union has been known as Solidarity.

Labour Services:

Solidarity’s main function is to protect its members in the work environment. Solidarity achieves this through its Labour Services Department which protects thousands of individual and collective members in various industries throughout South Africa..

Industries in Solidarity:

Mining, Agricultural, Medical and Cement Industry.
Metal, Engineering and Electrical Industry
Communication, Chemical and Professional Services Industry.
Individual members

Labour Relations:

Training and development

Solidarity Legal Services
Labour Court, General Litigation and Occupational Health and SafetyTelephonic legal advice

Mining, Agriculture, Medical and Cement Industry

Solidarity’s roots lie in the mining industry. Solidarity Mining is organised in the gold, platinum, copper, chrome, coal, iron ore, base metals and diamond industries.


Solidarity Agriculture is represented at all the large agricultural cooperatives, known as agribusinesses nowadays, as well as at all the large cement manufacturers in the country


The trade union further identified a particular need in die medical industry and consequently extended its services in 2009 in order to be able to protect and represent employees in this industry. Solidarity already represents more than 7 500 members in this industry.

Metal, Engineering and Electrical Industry

The Metal, Engineering and Electrical Industry is the largest of Solidarity’s industries and its growth in membership has exceeded all expectations. The union is well-organised at companies such as ArcelorMittal, Denel and Highveld Steel, and also at companies in the automobile manufacturing and tyre industries, such as Nissan, Volkswagen, Continental and Bridgestone. Moreover, Solidarity also represents a large number of members in the electrical industry, particularly at Eskom.

Communication, Chemical and Professional Services Industry

Solidarity Professional Services represents members at a wide range of entities, including agricultural research institutes, universities and colleges. In 2010 Solidarity entered the financial industry as well. Employees at all financial institutions now have access to the union’s protection. The Professional Services Industry in Solidarity opens up new opportunities for employees of institutions such as banks and insurance companies, as these employees can be offered exclusive support.


Solidarity’s Communication Industry offers exclusive support to members employed in the information and communication technology industry.Solidarity’s Chemical Industry represents employees at companies such as Sasol, PetroSA and AEL as well as glass manufacturers. In the aviation industry Solidarity mainly represents members at Airlink, Mango, Air Traffic and Navigation Services and SAA Technical. The trade union also represents members at Armscor.

Individual members


Solidarity is not organised in large, collective companies only. Any working individual may join the union and enjoy its protection in his or her workplace. The rendering of services to individual members is managed by Solidarity’s call centre and Labour Services Division.


0861 25 24 23: Your one-stop service for:


-           Becoming a member;

-           telephonic legal advice about labour issues;

-           telephonic advice about civil law issues;

-           updating personal particulars;

-           general member queries; and

-           information about Solidarity’s products.


When is the call centre on duty?

Mondays to Fridays: 08:00–16:30

Fridays:  08:00–15:00


A waiting period of three months applies to new individual members in respect of representation in new labour-law cases. However, members are entitled to telephonic advice from the first day of membership.

Labour Relations: Training and development


Solidarity strongly emphasises the role of its shop stewards in the workplace. Shop stewards are  Solidarity’s first line of protection for its members. Shop stewards receive training in various aspects of labour relations and labour law, enabling them to offer their colleagues advice on labour-related issues.

Solidarity Legal Services

Solidarity’s legal department is the largest of its kind in all South African trade unions and one of the largest labour law practices in South Africa. Apart from a dedicated division for occupational health and safety, Solidarity boasts an expert legal team who, together with attorneys and advocates, handle cases on behalf of Solidarity members. Solidarity Legal Services at any given time deals with approximately 1 400 cases on behalf of members (excluding the number of large collective disputes). The cases concern any matter, ranging from dismissals, grievances and pension disputes to compensation claims for occupational injuries and diseases.

Contact us for legal advice:


Telephonic legal advice through the Solidarity Call Centre (0861 25 24 23)

-           Advice regarding labour law issues

-           Advice regarding civil law issues


Personal advice and legal aid

-           General Litigation Division

-           Labour Court Division

-           Occupational Health and Safety Division