The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is demanding that the Swiss-based Allseas Group SA, the owner of Pieter Schelte crane vessel, immediately change the vessel’s name.
The Pieter Schelte is a Panamanian flag of convenience vessel, contracted by Shell to service its Brent platforms situated on the UK continental shelf. It was named in honour of the Allseas Group’s owner’s father, who was a Nazi Waffen-SS officer.
ITF president Paddy Crumlin said the vessel’s name was a disgrace and it should not be permitted to operate in UK or European waters.
“For Allseas to name its vessel after a convicted Nazi war criminal is utterly shameful,” he said.
“It is almost unthinkable that Allseas would have a vessel honouring a senior Nazi war criminal operating in European waters. It is nothing short of a grave insult. The Pieter Schelte should not be permitted to operate until it changes its name,” ITF general secretary Steve Cotton commented.
British maritime union RMT has also protested to the news that Shell UK Ltd has awarded Allseas Group’s Pieter Schelte 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.
“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 unions and the ITF to bring this outrage to public attention and force it to be called to a halt,”RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said.
“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,” Steve Todd, RMT National Secretary added.
When asked for a comment on the demands, Allseas told World Maritime News that “there is no intention to change the name of the vessel.”
Shell has not replied yet to emails sent by World Maritime News asking for comment.
The behemoth crane vessel arrived from South Korea to Rotterdam for final outfitting early January.
The giant vessel’s final outfitting will take place at Alexiahaven where a berth has been specially designed and dredged for the purpose, the Maasvlakte 2.
The final outfitting at the berth will include installation of 65-meter long beams of the topside lift system.
The vessel is expected to be ready for offshore operations early this year.
World Maritime News Staff