One of the most important aspects of IRMA is its commitment to serving diverse stakeholders equally. While industry associations might draw on the expertise of labor union representatives when setting their standards, IRMA provides these organizations—and, by association, the workers they represent—an equal voice and equal vote in IRMA’s governance.

IRMA recognizes labor unions have a unique role to play, as workers simultaneously operate within the industry and also hold it to account. IRMA seeks to ensure workers’ rights are protected at the mine site through a series of requirements related to health and safety, freedom of association, non-discrimination, fair wages and several others.

Unions representing the labor force are actively engaged in IRMA’s governance, ensuring workers are represented. IRMA looks to these leaders to:

  • ensure IRMA’s Standard for Responsible Mining continues to represent best practice, particularly vis-à-vis labor rights
  • encourage mining companies to be audited in IRMA
  • encourage purchasing companies to ask their suppliers to engage in IRMA

As a system, IRMA ensures workers are engaged in the audit process by:

  • publicly noticing when an IRMA audit is about to occur
  • setting robust guidelines on how worker interviews must occur, including guidance on anonymity and freedom from coercion
  • publicly sharing the audit results, with detailed notes on the mine’s performance so workers have a clear picture of a mine site’s practices
  • providing a grievance mechanism for concerns to be raised following the audit

As labor union representatives and employees of a mining company, you can use IRMA to:

  • learn about an existing mine’s performance and measure how it performs against IRMA’s standard, the world’s most comprehensive definition of best practices in mining
  • use IRMA as a template to improve laws and regulations in your region

Membership in IRMA is free for labor union representatives. Membership allows you to:

  • vote for board representatives for your sector
  • attend IRMA’s member-only meetings
  • connect with, learn from and collaborate with others in your sector
  • connect with, learn from and collaborate with stakeholders outside of your sector
  • publicly demonstrate your leadership in fostering more responsible mining practices
  • access members-only communication

It is important to note that members from the labor sector must:

  • agree to make statements that engaging in IRMA is an active way for mining companies and purchasers of mined materials to improve environmental and social responsibility
  • communicate that audit reports are valued for providing key information to support more informative dialogue between stakeholders