Vol. 40 No. 2 2014

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Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
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    Guest Editors’ Introduction to the Special Issue on FIFO Work
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2014) Rainnie, Al; Michelson, Grant; Goods, Caleb; Burgess, John
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    FIFO and Global Production Networks: Exploring the Issues
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2014) Rainnie, A; Fitzgerald, S; Ellem, B; Goods, C
    "In this introductory article, we provide a context for subsequent articles in this special edition. We do not intend to provide a comprehensive overview of the costs and benefits of FIFO. This ground is covered in other articles here (see also Morris 2012). We argue that FIFO represents the third wave in a series of spatial fixes, whereby resource companies mining in far north Western Australia sought to manage relationships between themselves, their workforces, and the communities in which these workers live. We are responding to the demands of Coe (2013) and Kelly (2013) who wish to see Global Production Network analysis move beyond a narrow workplace focus to incorporate issues such as environmental landscapes, households and livelihoods, and social and spatial unevenness of development. In so doing, we develop the form of analysis of GPNs, labour, and uneven development outlined in Rainnie et al. (2011; 2013)."
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    Determinants of Employee-turnover Intentions in Atypical Employment: The FIFO Mining Industry in Western Australia
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2014) Brown, Alan; Susomrith, Pattanee; Sitlington, Helen; Scott, Glenda
    "In the Western Australian mining sector, a significant portion of the workforce (at least 50 per cent) is employed in fly-in fly-out (FIFO) arrangements. This involves flying to isolated mining sites and working consecutive days usually for 11 or 12 hour shifts and returning home after a period of time (days or weeks). Such employment presents unique stresses on employees and at the same time offers significant opportunities such as high pay levels. During a decade of substantial growth in the industry, high levels of employee turnover have been experienced. This article examines the individual and organisational factors which contribute to this turnover. A questionnaire was used to measure employee views about their job and company, along with their intentions to stay or quit their job. This was administered in an iron-ore company with FIFO work arrangements. Findings show both organisational factors (rosters, supervisors, managers, and company culture) and personal factors (career goals and family circumstances) can influence turnover intentions."
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    The Flip Side of Fly-In Fly-Out: The Use of 457 Visas by Smaller Firms in the Western Australian Resources Sector
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2014) Barrett, Rowena; Bahn, Susanne; Susomrith, Pattanee; Prasad, Krishna
    "The focus in this article is how the extensive use of fly-in fly-out (FIFO) working arrangements in the Western Australian resources sector has an impact directly and indirectly on smaller firms and their ability to recruit workers in remote locations. We argue that the growth of FIFO working arrangements has disadvantaged smaller resource-sector firms by increasing their employment costs and decreasing their ability to attract skilled workers. As a result, smaller resource-sector firms are recruiting skilled workers on 457 visas to secure their business stability and growth, despite the complexity, costs, and risks involved."
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    Do Holistic Human Resource Management Practices Make a Difference to Fly-in Fly-out Workers’ Job Quality? An Exploratory Investigation
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2014) Connell, J; Burgess, J
    "In common with ongoing research into human resource management (HRM), there are attributes of jobs that are associated with job quality, which are considered important in attracting and retaining employees. To date, however, analysis has omitted the fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workforce. It is important to consider whether it is possible to develop a trategic HRM approach for FIFO workers where commuting arrangements deviate from the norm. This article fills a gap in the literature by using a four-dimensional job-quality (JQ) framework to analyse factors associated with job quality and HRM. The research was undertaken at two FIFO-dependent workplaces in Western Australia. The findings show that one workplace was using bundles of HR practices that spanned all four JQ dimensions; the other concentrated mainly on two dimensions, a consequence which is the potential to lead to suboptimal outcomes for the organisation and their FIFO employees."
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    Workers’ Perceptions of FIFO Work in North Queensland, Australia
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2014) Blackman, A; Welters, R; Murphy, L; Eagle, L; Pearce, M; Pryce, J; Lynch, P; Low, D
    "The impact of the fly-in fly-out (FIFO) lifestyle on the psychosocial and emotional well-being of the workers and their families has been a topic of discussion in local media, forums, and research, with mixed findings. In addition, there are reports that the communities that carry the increased presence of nonresident workers suffer erosion of social, human, economic, institutional, and environmental capital. This study outlines the positive effects of a FIFO lifestyle and discusses the results from a survey conducted by the authors on North Queensland FIFO workers. In particular, the demography of the FIFO workforce in North Queensland, workers’ perceptions of FIFO work, and their perceptions of the impacts on social interaction for FIFO workers. The article closes with a brief outline of future research areas."
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    Mining through the Talent Pool of Potential Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) Workers
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2014) Pryce, J; Welters, R; Lynch, P; Blackman, A; Murphy, L; Eagle, L; Case, P; Low, D
    "This article reports on findings from an exploratory study which examined the qualifications, skills, and experience of local job seekers in Tropical North Queensland to ascertain their potential as FIFO workers. An online survey was conducted, eliciting 213 responses from potential FIFO workers, identifying their interest in, capacity, and capability to undertake FIFO work. The majority of respondents indicated that not only were they interested in FIFO work, but that they constituted an untapped talent pool of potential FIFO workers with substantial experience and (or) limited qualifications. The results indicated that this supply of potential FIFO labour, with some upskilling, could go a long way in contributing to the growing demand for skilled labour in the resource sector. The interest of these potential workers has implications for the mining industry, government departments, employment agencies, communities, and labour markets."
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    The FIFO Experience: A Gladstone Case Study
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2014) Cameron, R; Lewis, J; Pfeiffer, L
    "The aim of this article is to explore the historic and contemporary use of nonresident workers (NRWs) in the Gladstone region, how this has contributed to the region’s development, and the economic and social impacts of the use of Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) employment practices. Gladstone, in Central Queensland, is at the front and centre of Australia’s evolving economic growth with some $45 billion of investment being delivered in the region. Recently, the construction of three coal seam gas and liquefied natural gas (CSG and LNG) projects on Curtis Island in Gladstone harbour has placed enormous pressure on the region in terms of unprecedented labour and housing demands. It has seen the extensive use of FIFO and Drive-in Drive-out (DIDO) workers. An exploratory qualitative approach framed by key concepts in the literature on resource dependence and socio-economic well-being and, in particular, the fly-over effects of utilising large-scale FIFO labour practices is used in this study. A case study research design has been utilised involving archival and documentary analysis, and a series of qualitative semi-structured interviews with community stakeholders. Recent research into the socio-economic impacts on regional resource-dependent regions across Australia points to a shift away from the ‘resource curse’ hypothesis (Lawrie et al. 2011, Tonts et al. 2012). We argue that the Gladstone story is unique and is differentiated from the atypical story of the company-built inland mining town, due to a number of contextual variables. Key issues from multiple perspectives are identified and recommendations for future research are made."
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    Adjustment, Well-being and Help-seeking Among Australian FIFO Mining Employees
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2014) Vojnovic, Philippa; Michelson, Grant; Jackson, Denise; Bahn, Susanne
    "The theme of fly-in fly-out (FIFO) employment arrangements has attracted considerable policy and media interest, yet there is limited knowledge about the impact of such employment on workers and how they might manage the various strains associated with FIFO work. To advance this line of research, this article examines the antecedent factors of and relationships between adjustment, well-being, and help-seeking among FIFO employees. Our primary contribution is to develop a model and a series of propositions which will assist researchers, the industry, and policy-makers to understand the complex circumstances and impacts of FIFO employment better."