A strike at one section of the steelworks threatened to spread across the Illawarra's entire industrial sector.
The steelworks' Springhill plant workers went on strike over then owner BHP's plans to hire contractors for work previously done by permanent employees.
Employees at the steelworks' slab and plate mill later joined the strike.
What had things set to explode was BHP sending letters to strikers threatening they be sacked if they did not return to work.
South Coast Labour Council secretary Paul Matters said he was planning to call on delegates from across the Illawarra's industrial sectors to consider a mass walkout in protest.
"It is now labour council policy that a district stoppage be called if workers are dismissed for being on strike," Mr Matters said.
"BHP is now on notice of what it can expect if the [dismissal] threat goes ahead."
The mass strike was averted when, almost a week later, the steelworks voted to return to work.
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