23 Nov 2002

First Filipino workers arrive at New Caledonia nickel plant project

9:37 am on 23 November 2002

The first group of Filipino workers has arrived in New Caledonia to work on the Goro Nickel plant project in the island's south.

The 16 will be followed by an estimated 20 specialised workers a week until the end of the year after which more workers will follow.

The construction plan for the 1-point-6 billion US dollar project provides for the employment of about 3-thousand Filipinos by the second half of next year.

In anticipation of their arrival, the New Caledonian congress in August created laws to grant them a range of labour rights, including a minimum wage.

Their employment has faced some criticism, with one congress member saying they may stay beyond the duration of their work contracts.