New Caledonia's congress has adopted labour laws for the thousands of foreign workers expected to be brought into the territory to build a new nickel smelter.
The law fills a void and provides for protection of the workers to be brought in mainly from the Philippines to construct the Goro nickel plant.
The law provides for a guaranteed minimum wage, paid leave, union privileges and the right to go on strike.
Working hours may not exceed twelve hours per day and 60 hours per week.
The foreign workers hired by foreign companies may stay in New Caledonia no longer than one year.
An estimated 4-thousand people will be hired to build the smelter which is expected to produce 60-thousand tonnes of nickel and cobalt by the end of 2004.