Women in the range of “amazing” sexual abuse suffering from “Fly-In-Fly-Out” mining: Report

A survey of the Fly In Flyout (FIFO) mining sector in Western Australia revealed a “amazing” range of sexual abuse and harassment of female workers.

The Government of Western Australia report On Thursday, sexual assault was “generally accepted or overlooked” in the FIFO mining sector, and women’s rights are undermined by “abuse of power status” and “culture of concealment.”

According to the survey, 74% of FIFO mining workers who reported sexual harassment in the workplace were women.

In the “horror story” revealed in the report, there was one case in which a woman faced a review due to a hiyari hat while driving a haul truck. She was told by her male boss that she could “stop” the safety investigation if she followed his sexual demands.

One woman said she was unknowingly knocked in her room and when she woke up she found jeans and pants around her ankles. “I felt sick, embarrassed, violated, dirty, and very confused,” she said.

Another said: “The different standards of hypocrisy between men and women who do not behave like men in the mining industry are strict. Escalate women’s laundry stolen from the camp laundry room and say,” What do you do about it? Do you want it? ” And’it happens. Just get used to it. “But get the same manager to send you a general warning that stealing people’s tools is unacceptable. “

The report revealed that women working in the mining industry experienced “unwanted emotions, sexual comments, provocative photo requests, and grooming.”

There was also evidence of “power play behavior” called “shovel ring”. There, iron ore was dumped into the cab of a women’s truck if sexual demands were not met.

“The size and depth of the problem made me far more shocked and stunned than I expected,” investigation chair Libby Metham told the Legislature.

“The devastation and despair that victims experienced to hear the reality of provocation, aggression, and targeted violence, and the resulting threat or loss of their livelihoods shattered, and this in the 21st century. What could happen in one of the state’s most profitable industrial sectors is completely unforgivable and simply shocking. “

Workers point out that the highly controlled structure of the FIFO work environment deprives them of control of work and personal time, is the “cause of serious distress” and is the cause of the high rate of bullying in the industry. did.

“In self-preservation, people create subcultures based on supermasculinity and dominance and engage in maladapted behaviors such as bullying as a means of controlling their situation,” the report said. ..

Other factors include short-term contracts and heavy alcohol consumption.

Studies show that women are afraid to speak because of fear of criticism, the risk of losing their position or shift, lack of means of reporting, and distrust of the system.


In response to the survey, mining companies and industry representatives admitted that the FIFO industry was in serious trouble, and Rio Tinto CEO Simon Trot was “stunned and sick” in the story of sexual harassment. It became. “

Rio Tinto, the world’s leading mining group, established Everyday Respect Taskforce in March to combat sexual harassment and bullying and “make the quiet voice the loudest.”

Meanwhile, the Minister of Resources and Madeleine King of North Australia Media release “There is too much sexual harassment,” he said on June 23.

“Unfortunately, research has shown that sexual harassment and assault are too common for women who choose to work in the FIFO workforce.”

The survey made 24 recommendations, one of which suggested that mining companies should have serious implications, including dismissal, for those seeking favorable sexual favors.

Other recommendations, such as establishing a forum to hear and acknowledge the victim’s experience and implementing reasonable drinking standards at mining companies.

Nina Nguyen


Nina Nguyen is a Sydney-based reporter. She covers Australian news with a focus on social, cultural and identity issues. She is fluent in Vietnamese. Contact her at [email protected].