17 Sep 2002

Arrival of Filipino workers in New Caledonia delayed

9:43 am on 17 September 2002

Reports from Manila say the planned deployment of the first 22 workers from the Phlippines in New Caledonia has been deferred indefinitely.

The workers, hired by the US company Bechtel, were to fly to Noumea this week to work on the Goro nickel plant.

Media reports in Noumea say about 3-thousand Filipinos were expected to be hired and 160 of them have been given visas to work in New Caledonia.

But the construction of the 1-point-4 billion US dollar plant was stopped a week ago after protests against the project.

The Goro Nickel company has said a planned break was brought forward and that work will resume within about two weeks.

The suspension has forced hundreds of people to take unscheduled leave.