New Caledonia's USTKE union has called a general strike today to push for the increased hiring of locals.
The action comes as the union criticises businesses for hiring workers from overseas instead of recruiting and training locals.
The union points to the 1998 Noumea Accord which envisaged measures to help shore up the job market for New Caledonians.
But it adds that nothing has been done to define New Caledonian citizenship by law.
A union leader says although the SLN nickel plant has been in the territory for a century, it still relies on importing specialised workers.
The strikers are expected today to march to the legislature, the French High Commission and the seat of the territorial government.