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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05MAPUTO846 2005-07-06 15:22:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Maputo
Cable title:  

UPDATE ON STRIKING LOCAL GUARD FORCE MEMBERS

Tags:   ASEC MZ 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

061522Z Jul 05
					  UNCLAS MAPUTO 000846 

SIPDIS
STATE FOR DS/IP/AF, DS/IP/ITA, DS/IP/FPO, AF/EX, AF/S
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC MZ
SUBJECT: UPDATE ON STRIKING LOCAL GUARD FORCE MEMBERS

REF: A. (A) MAPUTO 00834


B. (B) MAPUTO 00842



1. SUMMARY: As reported in Ref A, on July 5, 2005,
individual employees of the local guard force contracted
through Wackenhut held a strike. The strike has continued on
July 6 and RSO expects the strike to continue for the next
several days. The number of roving bands of striking guards
and laid-off workers was notably smaller than yesterday, with
groups ranging from 5-20 individuals in each. We are not
aware of any physical force being used today, unlike
yesterday. All but one residence retained guard coverage.
The U.S. office buildings and U.S.Embassy were significantly
understaffed. Many of the guards on duty are on their
second, third, or fourth straight shift. Meals were supplied
to all guards working past their normal 12 hour shift. As
stated in Ref B, an Emergency Action Committee (EAC) meeting
was held this morning. END SUMMARY.



2. On July 5, 2005, many members of the local guard force
either did not report to or left their posts soon after the
day shift began. This situation repeated itself on July 6,


2005. RSO received no reports of residential guards missing
work last night. Today, all residences except for one had
guard coverage. However, many of the residential guards have
been working for two, three, and in one case, four 12 hour
consecutive shifts. The RSO and ARSO touched base with all
the guards and advised them to wear civilian clothes during
the first half of the day when the roving bands of striking
guards wandered the streets. One such band of strikers was
encountered by the RSO and ARSO, who photographed these
strikers. In addition, arrangements were made to deliver
food to all the guards working more than one shift.



3. The U.S. official buildings were considerably
understaffed on July 6. The U.S.Embassy conducted business
with only 2 guards versus the standard 13 guards. The front
doors leading from the main street were closed and locked and
all visitors with appointments and Americans in need of
American Citizen Services were allowed access via a side exit
normally used only for mission employees. The standard
number of police remain on duty at the Embassy, the EMR, PA,
and U.S.AID; however, their presence has been ineffective in
stopping the striking workers or barring unauthorized access
to facilities. The Peace Corps and Public Affairs offices
each had 2 guards versus the standard 3 each, the GSO
warehouse had the regular number of 3 guards, the U.S.AID
Miramar housing compound had 2 guards versus the standard 5
guards, and U.S.AID had 6 guards versus the standard 12
guards until one left to join the strikers. The Peace Corps
and Public Affairs offices were instructed to close and lock
their gates briefly this morning while the roving bands of
strikers roamed the streets in search of guards whom they
could coerce to join their cause.



4. The senior management of the guard company was contacted
by the Ministry of Labor with a request to meet the guard
union representatives in front of an official arbitrator.
The guard company executives have agreed if all the guards
return to their posts and resume work. The guard union's
response as of the afternoon of July 6 was negative. The
guards will continue to strike. The guard company
subcontracted approximately 30 guards who have been receiving
training and will start to relieve regular guards on July 7.
The guard company expects to subcontract and train more
guards by Friday, July 8. Additional executive officers of
the guard company are expected to fly into Maputo on July 7
and meet with the Minister of Labor in order to resolve this
situation.



5. The RSO will send another message to all direct hire
Americans today prior to COB explaining the current situation
and offering security advice. If the U.S.Embassy is severly
understaffed tomorrow, July 7, the EAC will consider closing
the Embassy for regular business. The guards on duty are
extremely tired from working numerous shifts, extremely
overtaxed by attempting to man numerous posts. This
increases the risk to the Embassy and the mission personnel's
safety.
Dudley