What is the definition of a FIFO FLURO CUB
DEFINITION OF A FIFO
What is a FIFO? Well if you 'Google It' FIFO has a couple of different meanings, but when I refer to FIFO it stands for Fly In Fly Out and is in reference to people who travel on a plane to and from work. I haven't worked in a FIFO position; however I have been associated with many people who are currently in FIFO positions.
My brothers for example are currently working 4 weeks away (12 hour days for 4 weeks), and then have 1 week off! I also have friends that work 2 weeks on 1 week off and some even have equal time such as 4 weeks on 4 weeks off. Imagine 4 weeks off! It's quite common in Western Australia, employees commuting back and forth from Perth to mining towns such as Port Hedland, Newman, Karratha etc. There are also people commuting back and forth to these mining towns from Sydney and Melbourne.
HOW DO I GET A FIFO JOB?
If you're reading this and thinking hey how do I get involved? There are heaps of mining recruitment companies who are looking for staff especially for projects in North Western Australia such as the Gorgon Project and Pluto Project. For more info I suggest you "Google it"!
In my opinion it's not for everyone, it might be big bucks but a few issues spring to my mind including...
A FIFO HUSBAND / BOYFRIEND â HOW DO I SIGN UP?
Every woman's dream....?! Maybe not for newlyweds!? HOWEVER... what a great way to keep the relationship "ALIVE".
I once got asked what washing powder I used...? Hmm an interesting question I thought. When I couldn't remember, it was then suggested that I use OMO when my man was working away and FAB when he was home, and to ensure that my washing powder was always in the windowsill of my laundry... OMO meaning 'old man out' and FAB 'flipping ass back' so the milkman and postie knew... HA!
4 WEEK ON 4 WEEK OFF DAD
Another hot topic when it comes to FIFOs is a "4 week on 4 week off dad" versus a "9am - 5pm dad" (check out my article relating to this topic...) Note - they have just started offering courses at Relationship Australia which addresses this issue!!
SAVE SAVE SAVE or SPEND SPEND SPEND
Now if you're working 4 weeks away and all your meals, accommodation and expense are pretty much paid for (well except alcohol...) one would assume that you can Save! Save! Save!... but this is not always the case! This is why there are lots of 'CUBS' Cashed Up Bogans throwing their money around.
I was talking to a guy on a flight one day coming back from Adelaide and he mentioned that he and his wife have purchased a few brand new "boys toys" (motor bikes/boats etc) and set them up for sale at the nearest petrol station to this particular mine - and has had huge sales... from the 'CUBS'!
If you've never had money â and then all of a sudden you do and lots of it, you have 1, 2 or 4 weeks off what do you do â you spend it, splurge and show off to all your mates! Alternatively if you're smart, you buy a house and pay it off quickly to set yourself up... but that's only if you're smart. I've met FIFOs that have nothing but memories well some of them can't even remember because they drank their way through their time off...
In result of companies paying for their employees to FIFO the airline lounges are now full of CUBS (*Cashed Up Bogans) in their fluros (*fluros being fluorescent coloured work clothes that they're required to wear.) as they have accumulated so many frequent flyer points that they can access the lounge. Therefore the airline airport lounges are now not so exclusive; I personally used to feel like a VIP when visiting the airport lounges, now not so much, I feel out of place wearing my business suit attire.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER?
There are people of all ages and skills who have become FIFO employees. Some of these 'mining' employees are in their early to mid 20's and earning great money. They are becoming used to a working flat out and then being rewarded with equal time off...(4 weeks on 4 weeks off) Now if the mining boom stops - how will they go back in the normal work force 9am-5pm 5 days a week indefinitely; Possible decrease in pay; Not having equal time off for the time you work; And not getting those Myer vouchers for working a Sunday...?!
A LITTLE 'TUIDE â THAT'S NOT MY JOB
Employers in this FIFO industry have a huge focus on Occupation Health & Safety... (Which is great) but this means if you're a cleaner and your vacuum breaks down (as an example) you can't just drop everything and try to fix it, you need to call the appropriate person who's job it is to fix it. This is teaching these young guys in their 20's "That's not my job"... and from my experience this is more and more what employers are trying to move away from and actually encourage employees to multi task, job share, and be multi skilled.
CAN'T KEEP STAFF
Other industries such as the hospitality industry, hotels, bars, restaurants are suffering and losing kitchen/bar/housekeeping staff left right and centre because they can't offer the same level of wages so people are going to the mines in droves to earn the big bucks.
Now it can't be all that bad... I would love to hear from a FIFO if you're reading this, or interested in your thoughts and opinions if this has caught your attention....
Please note that this is simply an opinion of FIFO, a generalisation, I personally know some great FIFO FLURO CUBS; I'm married to one!
If you enjoyed this please read 4 WEEK ON 4 WEEK OFF DAD