Cosatu wants to review its strike processes to ensure workers are happy with the outcomes, and that associated violence and intimidation are reduced.
"It is worrying... that only half of the Cosatu members surveyed in the 2012 Workers' Survey were satisfied with the outcome of the strikes in their workplace," the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) said.
"Public sector Cosatu members were more satisfied than their private sector counterparts," according to Cosatu's organisational report prepared for discussion at its national congress.
The four-day congress in Midrand starts on Monday.
Cosatu's survey found that between 10 and 15 percent of respondents reported that there had been violence or intimidation by management or the police during strikes.
This was mostly in the form of threats to strikers, or the firing of rubber bullets or teargas.
"A similar number said there had been violence or intimidation by strike supporters, mostly threats to scabs," Cosatu said.
Although Cosatu did not have comprehensive data on strikes, it said the period from August 2010 to March 2012 had not seen the levels of violence experienced during the 2006 security workers' strike, when over 50 people were killed.
This did not include the ongoing strike at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana in the North West, in which 45 people have been killed in strike-related incidents.
"There is, however, overall evidence that violence in strikes is increasing," Cosatu said.
The SA Special Risks Insurance Association 2011 annual report found that strike-related claims had increased significantly since 2006 and now accounted for over 70 percent of its claims.
Cosatu's survey found that half the respondents saw violence by workers "as necessary to achieve an acceptable result".
Cosatu was concerned that only 45 percent of respondents said their union had met regularly with workers to get mandates during negotiations. Ten percent said meetings were never held to get mandates.
Cosatu has recommended a review of strike processes, which would include tightening picket rules and a campaign to ensure that employers and police complied with the law.
It wanted to campaign to change the law allowing employers to hire scab labour during strikes.
Article continues on page two...