Argentina Navy's training vessel ARA Libertad (Q2) was held off Buenos Aires for several hours after a 5-month trip due to a union strike by port workers.
The United Maritime Workers Union (SOMU) workers' decision meant the iconic vessel docked Saturday over ten hours later than scheduled.
It was not until the Labor Ministry issued a Mandatory Conciliation warrant and the unions also acquiesced to making an exception that the Libertad could arrive back home. It was the vessel's 50th training voyage.
The SOMU measure was due to the stagnation of wage negotiations for tugboat workers.
We are used to going through storms at sea, and this would be one more. It strengthens us, especially for the training of the midshipmen, Libertad Captain Carlos Pedro Schavinsky said.
He also admitted mooring at the nearest naval bases was considered. We have our own Navy tugboats there, he explained. Puerto Belgrano or Mar del Plata were the two likely alternatives.
The delay affected the Libertad's crew of 326 (including 57 women and consisting of 28 officers, 92 commissioned midshipmen, and 191 non-commissioned officers) and their families who had gathered at Buenos Aires to welcome them back home.
Midshipman on commission Daniela Plaza explained to the Defense Ministry's La Gaceta Marinera website that it was an incredible voyage, of great professional growth. We embarked as cadets and got off as almost officers.
During almost five months, the Fragata Libertad traveled 22,038 nautical miles and made calls at Fortaleza (Brazil), Castries (Saint Lucia), Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), Havana (Cuba), Veracruz (Mexico), Baltimore (United States), Dublin (Ireland), Saint-Malo (France), Toulon (France), Cadiz (Spain) and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).