RMT demands halt to use of Pieter SchelteNews // February 4, 2015
UK maritime union RMT has reacted with fury to news that Shell UK Ltd has awarded Allseas Group SA in Switzerland a contract for the removal, transportation and load-in to shore of the topsides of three of its Brent platforms on the UK continental shelf using its newest vessel, Pieter Schelte, – a vessel which is named after a top 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 what it described as "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 programme 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.”