On the morning of Thursday, April 22, 2004, some employees of Inter-Con Security Services, Ltd., performed a work stoppage at the U.S. Embassy Compound at Mamba Point near Monrovia. They temporarily impeded access to and from the compound by Embassy employees and visitors. The purpose of this action was to draw to the attention of U.S. Embassy management to the fact that some Inter-Con employees have grievances with Inter-Con's management. These aggrieved employees stated that they had no particular grievance against U.S. Embassy personnel. The Inter-Con employees urged Embassy management to intervene on their behalf in their grievances with Inter-Con management.
Inter-Con is a U.S.-based company, but is contracted to provide security to the U.S. Embassy compound and other locations in Liberia. It is not a U.S. government agency and its employees are not U.S. government employees, but rather, private employees of Inter-Con. Therefore, it is not appropriate for the U.S. Embassy to intervene in a private labor/management dispute. Nonetheless, Embassy officers attempted to mediate the dispute and listened to the grievances of the few Inter-Con employees who organized the work stoppage. It should be noted that not all Inter-Con employees appeared to support the strike.
The vast majority of Inter-Con employees have served the Embassy faithfully, including during the assaults on Monrovia last summer, providing the critical security necessary to keep our Embassy open. We are grateful to them for this and therefore attempted to mediate. However, we were unsuccessful in alleviating their concerns. Their grievances appeared to be about bonuses that they felt they were owed by Inter-Con for service during last summer and Christmas bonuses.
When it became obvious that a resolution was impossible, the Embassy requested assistance from the Liberian National Police (LNP) and UNMIL security in order to reestablish control over its entryways and remove all protesting Inter-Con guards from the compound. This was accomplished at approximately 4-p.m. local time.