4 Jan 2010

Challenge to employment law looms in New Caledonia

10:15 am on 4 January 2010

There may be a challenge to a new New Caledonian law aimed at protecting the job market for locals.

The law, which is seen as a compromise, was approved by the territory's Congress last week, but the pro-independence FLNKS movement says the provisions are not in the spirit of the decolonisation as enshrined in the 1998 Noumea Accord.

The FLNKS is yet to decide whether it will force a fresh vote in the weeks to come as is possible under provisions in the organic law

It argues that young people are being sidelined by qualified migrants from mainland France which it says goes against the 1980 UN resolution that discourages migration into colonies on track to independence.

Employers point out that young locals tend to seek jobs in the public service which has led to a situation in the private sector where now nine out of ten employees have been born outside New Caledonia.