A court in New Caledonia has stopped the Koniambo nickel plant from sacking 47 employees.
The court in Kone found that the company KNS failed to follow proper procedure when it embarked on a process of eliminating 140 positions.
A union leader had welcomed the decision, saying it shows a multinational cannot do as it pleases.
KNS announced the cuts in the face of heavy losses triggered by a slump in the nickel price.
In a statement, KNS said it would respect the legal steps.
It adds that it undertook the restructure in a bid to help the company survive and save 800 jobs at stake.