The government on Wednesday clinched a deal with Larnaca port and marina workers who were fired by Kition Ocean Holdings.

Talks lasted for four hours in a marathon session meeting between Labour Minister Yiannis Panayiotou, Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades and union reps.

It ensures 72 workers who were dismissed from Kition Ocean Holdings on Tuesday night will not be left without a job.

The development comes after the company’s own deal with the government went down the drain, after Vafeades announced on Monday the government had terminated its concession with Kition Ocean Holdings.

Heralding what he described as a “constructive dialogue”, Panayiotou said the agreement with unions rests on three pillars.

It aims to ensure “the smooth operations of critical infrastructure at the Larnaca port and marina”.

The first pillar specifies all workers will transition their employment to the Larnaca and Famagusta District Development Agency.

Secondly, efforts will begin immediately to document the work carried out by the 72 employees, so they can be assigned similar tasks.

Lastly, when the government moves to call for a new tender, the conditions will stipulate all of these workers must be hired by the new contracting company.

Panayiotou said work towards the three pillars will begin immediately.

“Finding a solution for what the ‘next day’ will entail for employees was very important for the government,” Vafeades underlined.

“We are very happy to have found a good solution.”

Union rep Sotiroulla Charalambous also appeared positive, underlining that all parties were on the same page over the framework of the deal.

The 72 workers were fired on Tuesday night, a day after the government moved to terminate its agreement with Kition Ocean Holdings over the €1.2 billion Larnaca port and marina project.

Vafeades said the government was left with no other choice after Kition repeatedly failed to pay its financial guarantee.

The company has described the state’s reaction as illegal.

Earlier in the day, President Nikos Christodoulides said the government “must move quickly” on the matter, after it emerged workers were dismissed from their jobs.

“We owe it to Larnaca and its people to find a capable company to handle the development”, and assured workers that they “do not need to worry” about their futures.

The government has made clear that works linked to the Larnaca port and marina will fall under the state’s wing, following the end of Kition’s concession agreement.

Vafeades has stressed critical operations at the port will not be affected by the developments.

In its own statements Kition Ocean Holdings expressed its hope that the government“does not deviate from its obligations” to the workers at Larnaca port.

“When the government terminated the agreement on May 27, it ordered Kition to immediately vacate the premises so the government would ‘immediately acquire all the rights to the project. The government chose not to have a handover period, which would have allowed for a smooth handover,” they said.

They added that the government had “showed up accompanied by the police”and with “no real plan or direction, especially in relation to the workers”.

They went over to say the sequence of events “has caused great disturbance to the workers, who are rightly concerned about the future”.

“We are raising this issue publicly to make sure the government will treat workers fairly and according to the law,” they added.

Christodoulides has hinted there is potential investment interest from the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who was in Cyprus for an official visit.