Less that 24-hours before the planned protest at Limassol’s casino resort, one of the unions has backed out as a response to the labour minister’s “plea to refrain from confrontation.”

In an announcement on Monday, Deok union said it had decided to refrain from the protest planned for Tuesday at 5:30pm outside City of Dreams Mediterranean.

Peo union said it would go ahead with the protest and would not back down until the company gave assurances that union reps would be allowed to access the workplace.

The dispute stems from what Peo and Deok claim to be the company forbidding access to the unions in the workplace for efforts to unionise.

Melco, the gaming and resort company called the protests “unfounded and poorly timed” as they coincided with a day of planned events at the casino resort to celebrate the opening.

Labour Minister Yiannis Panayiotou has stepped into the furore to try and de-escalate the situation.

Deok stressed the labour minister’s intervention over the matter would be pivotal towards “fully implementing Cypriot laws and the constitution, that set in stone union liberties”.

The union added it agreed to refrain from the protest so as to “ease efforts to ensure the right for union reps to access the workplace at the casino resort.”

“The operator of the resort casino needs to realise that its business activities are conducted on the territory of the Republic of Cyprus and it should stop behaving like a state within a state, disrespecting the legal order of its host state,” Deok noted.

It added the labour minister’s role could not simply be that of a mediator but his involvement should be “decisive” so as to ensure trade unions were free to fully exercise their rights in the workplace.

Peo hinted there were talks behind the scenes but it would not be swayed without a clear confirmation from City of Dreams Mediterranean that access to the resort for unionisation purposes would be permitted.

“The how and where can be agreed later, with the minister’s help,” a Peo union rep told the Cyprus Mail.