By John Donovan
Scottish TV news is reporting that the UK National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers, and its sister unions, are outraged by the fact that Shell has awarded the Brent oilfield decommissioning contract to a ship with a Nazi name, The Pieter Schelte.
The unions intend to take coordinated action to stop the continued use of the scandalous Nazi linked name on the high seas.
Numerous articles have been published today as a result of a PR campaign by Shell in which it ironically claims to have learnt the lessons from the Brent Spar debacle. The STV story is the first to mention the Nazi name controversy.
Under the circumstances, what a spectacular own goal Shell has scored again by associating itself with a ship, supposedly the biggest in the world, named after an officer in the murderous Waffen SS, a convicted war criminal.
It is a sickening insult to the memory of all allied military and seafarers who died in World War 2, including 44,000 British sailors and over 30,000 merchant seaman. And of course to the tens of millions who perished at the hands of the most evil regime in history.
Royal Dutch Shell, one of the first Allseas clients to use the Pieter Schelte, has known for years about the controversy surrounding the Nazi name. A number of news articles were published about the toxic name from 2007 onwards. Lloyds Register, heavily associated with the ship from its inception, has also known for years about the Nazi name. Both global giants turned a corporate blind eye, choosing to put business interests (money) before scruples.
Shell was not forced to enter into a contract for the Nazi named ship. It chose to do so knowing the name of the ship.
Shell, Lloyd’s Register and other corporate entities closely associated with the ship could even now withdraw their association with the ship unless the name is changed.
Thus far they have ignored the outcry.
I have launched a Petition to rename the ship.
I note that the ship is sailing under a Panamanian flag. Shouldn’t it be a Swastika?
STV NEWS HEADLINE:
Energy giant criticised over ship named after Nazi war criminal
3 February 2015
Energy giant Shell has been criticised over plans to use a ship named after a Nazi war criminal to decommission a North Sea oil field.
Shell awarded the contract for the decommissioning of the Brent field to the Allseas Group, owners of the massive ship, Pieter Schelte.
The vessel is named after the the father of Allseas owner Edwin Heerema. Schelte was a Nazi who served in the Waffen SS during the Second World War.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “It is sickening that a vessel named after a senior Nazi jailed for war crimes is set to be working on a taxpayer-funded contract in British waters.
“This scandal must be stopped and RMT will work with our sister union’s and the ITF to bring this outrage to public attention and force it to be called to a halt.”
Schelte disappeared in August 1943 and joined a resistance group in Switzerland.
He was arrested after the war and jailed for three years, but was released after one and a half for his work with the resistance. The Dutchman later went on to become a respected maritime engineer.
RELATED ARTICLE FROM THE RMT UNION WEBSITE
RMT DEMANDS HALT TO USE OF FLAGGED-OUT VESSEL
3 February 2015
RMT Press Office
Maritime union RMT has reacted with fury to news that Shell UK Ltd has awarded the Swiss-based Allseas Group SA the contract for the removal, transportation and load-in to shore of the topsides of three of its Brent platforms that are situated on the UK Continental Shelf using its newest vessel, the Pieter Schelte, for the task – a vessel which is named after a top German Nazi jailed for war crimes at the end of the war.
RMT is also pointing out that the vessel operates under a Panamanian flag of convenience, employing socially-dumped foreign labour on pitiful pay and conditions as well as being named after the company owner Edward Heerema’s father who served as a Waffen SS officer and was imprisoned after the second world war.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;
“Coming just days after we remembered the liberation of Auschwitz it is sickening that a vessel named after a senior Nazi, jailed for war crimes, is set to be working on a tax-payer funded contract in British waters. This scandal must be stopped and RMT will work with our sister union’s and the ITF to bring this outrage to public attention and force it to be called to a halt.”
Steve Todd, RMT National Secretary, added:
“This shocking news compounds the fact that with a massive decommissioning program in place on the offshore UK continental shelf over the next 10 to 20 years, out of all the vessels that will be used hardly any of them will have British crews on board. Furthermore, we will be lucky if any of the work from the decommissioning benefits anywhere in the UK or any of the UK workforce and yet it is UK taxpayers money that will fund the programme.
“That is an absolute disgrace which is brought into sharp focus by the revelation that a union-busting company, using a ship honouring a top German Nazi and flagged out to Panama, stands to rake in a fortune at British taxpayers’ expense.”
RELATED ARTICLE FROM handyshippingguide.com
Storm Over World’s Largest Ship as Horrors of War Are Relived
UK – NETHERLANDS – SWITZERLAND – The storm of protest raised by Jewish groups across Europe has been echoed by British maritime and transport union RMT following the confirmation that Swiss-based Allseas Group SA has been awarded a contract by Shell UK Ltd for the removal, transportation and load-in to shore of the topsides of three of its Brent platforms that are situated on the UK Continental Shelf using the compamy’s newest, and the world’s largest, vessel, the Pieter Schelte. Nothing wrong there you may think. When however accusers say the ship is named after a leading Nazi jailed for war crimes at the end of WWII…