Johannesburg - A collective agreement between the Chamber of Mines and trade unions in the gold sector has little or no value, the Labour Court in Johannesburg heard on Thursday.

“Those parties exclude Amcu,” said Paul Kennedy SC, for the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union.

Amcu was presenting argument on why an interim order granted to the chamber preventing the union from striking in the gold sector should not be made permanent.

“The union has been granted recognition and organisational rights at Khusasalethu. It has a right to negotiate.”

Kennedy asked whether different mines belonging to a company constituted separate workplaces or if the company was one workplace.

The fact that every mine submitted reports to the mineral resources department indicated they were separate workplaces, he said.

Amcu was the majority union at three Anglo Gold Ashanti mines and at Sibanye Gold's Driefontein mine. It had also gained majority union status at Harmony Gold's Khusasalethu mine, Kennedy said.

The chamber approached the labour court after Amcu issued strike notices to platinum and gold producers on January 20.

At that time the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity, and Uasa had concluded a wage agreement with gold producers through the chamber.

The NUM is the majority union in the gold sector.

Amcu issued strike notices demanding a minimum monthly salary of R12,500.

Its members in the platinum sector have been on strike at Lonmin, Impala Platinum, and Anglo American Platinum since January 23.

They rejected the companies' offer that would bring their cash remuneration to R12,500 by July 2017.

Amcu leader Joseph Mathunjwa joined union members in court on Thursday. - Sapa