USS Marinette Stuck in Lake Erie As St. Lawrence Seaway Workers Strike

October 25, 2023 5:51 PM
USS Marinette (LCS-25) Photo by Lockheed Martin

The Navy’s newest Littoral Combat Ship cannot make its way to the Atlantic Ocean after finding itself in the middle of a strike by St. Lawrence Seaway employees.

The St. Lawrence Seaway employees, represented by Unifor, went on strike Sunday, after the union and employer failed to reach an agreement, according to a press release from Unifor.

Canada’s CBC reported that the workers at 13 of the 15 locks are on the picket line, shutting down the corridor on the St. Lawrence River to the Atlantic Ocean. USS Marinette (LCS-25), commissioned in September, is currently in Lake Erie, moored in Cleveland, Ohio, unable to get to the Atlantic Ocean, as that would require going through the seaway.

“Unifor members did not undertake strike action lightly and it is our hope that the employer will resolve this dispute as quickly as possible so that normal shipping traffic can resume,” Unifor said in a statement to USNI News.

The union will return back to the negotiation table on Friday.

The Navy acknowledged a request for comment from USNI News but did not provide a statement

This is not the first time a Littoral Combat Ship got stuck in the Great Lakes due to issues with the St. Lawrence Seaway. After USS Little Rock (LCS-9) commissioned, it got stuck in Montreal due to icy conditions on the seaway.

The now decommissioned Little Rock was commissioned in December 2018 next to the USS Little Rock museum ship in Buffalo. The plan was for the Littoral Combat Ship to take the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Atlantic Ocean and then to Mayport, Fla., where it was homeported.

However, icy conditions on the seaway meant the ship had to wait for the water to thaw out, USNI News reported at the time.

Marinette, which commissioned in September in Michigan, will also be homeported in Mayport, Fla.

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio is a reporter with USNI News. She has a master’s degree in science journalism and has covered local courts, crime, health, military affairs and the Naval Academy.
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