The National Union of Metal Workers is holding its first national congress on Monday just two years after being kicked out of Cosatu.

New leaders will be elected at the congress while also discussing the formation of a new federation to replace Cosatu.

Among the issues to be discussed are, the job crisis, the national minimum wage and the nationalisation of banks and mineral wealth.

According to Numsa, the congress will be a historic opportunity for its members to launch a counter-offensive, to fight for a living minimum wage and oppose any limitation on the right of workers to strike and take forward the campaign for a new workers’ federation and proclaim the birth of the new revolutionary workers’ party.

The union says it rejects the proposed national minimum wage.

“The Cosatu leadership has colluded with the ANC neo-liberal government around the national minimum wage,” the union said.

“Numsa regards Cyril Ramaphosa’s proposal for R3500 a month as a legitimisation of slavery wages, which would leave millions in poverty but safeguard the interests of the exploiting capitalist class.”

The union has reiterated that it is convinced nothing can reverse the decline of the ANC, SACP and COSATU alliance.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan will address the congress later on Monday afternoon.