(Former) employees about Arib and PvdA: ‘You’re fighting against an institution, a symbol’

She is still remembered well by former PvdA Secretary Marguerite de Boer. In 2012, when she headed the committee that was supposed to advise on the list of candidates for the House of Representatives, she was approached by a group of PvdA members with a request. If you don’t want to put Khadija Oraib on the list anymore. There were a lot of problems between Arib and the staff in previous years. “It was impossible to work with her,” the staff said.

Oraib is still on the list, but despite her vast experience is in the 30th place. ‘I don’t know at all why I feel sad,’ Aribe said at the time. Norwegian Refugee Council. Now de Boer says dealing with employees has played an important role. “You worked like a horse, her abilities were unquestionable. But good interaction with your employees is also part of your role as a representative of the people.”

De Boer regrets that, ten years later, Aribe was forced to resign from Parliament due to complaints from the staff. “Obviously no one in the party has dealt with this problem for all these years.”

Arib announced, on Saturday, that he will leave the House of Representatives after leaking that the House of Representatives Presidency has launched an independent investigation into possible cross-border behavior during her tenure as Speaker of the House of Representatives. searching for Norwegian Refugee Council It showed that some of its employees view the work environment as “socially unsafe”. Oraib ignored or belittled the employees, and the Works Council described her behavior as “outrageous and frightening”.

Read also: During the reign of the famous chamber president Khadija Oraib, one official after another cut off

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The sudden departure of President Arib hit PvdA hard. Arib was for many years the beloved and highly valued Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, considered within the party a leader of Moroccan origin, as an example of successful emancipation and was one of the most popular members of the PvdA among voters: in both 2017 and 2017 2021 Arib received 50,000 preferred votes . PvdA leaders paid tribute to Arib following her passing. “Example,” former leader Ludwig Ascher tweeted. Former Member of Parliament and Arnhem Mayor Ahmed Marqosh described Arib as “pointed and humorous”. “Keep helping us for the greater good, the Netherlands needs you,” he wrote on Twitter.

PvdA leader Itci Koyken expressed support for Aribe, but also said that a “meticulous process” for the complainants was missing in the House of Representatives. Quicken is in a dilemma: she doesn’t just want to drop a sham character, but at the same time she has to explain that she and his party were aware of Arib’s problematic behavior and didn’t interfere in all those years.

Regional Council member Jaap Stallenberg criticizes the way Arib has been handled and how the party has missed the mark. “If there were complaints apparently years ago, we should have dealt with it and done something with them as a party, as well as to protect Arib. Now we’re going to tear our hands off it as soon as it gets out of hand with unknown attacks. No, we’re not a warm party.”

Next Saturday, Kuiken will provide information and clarifications to PvdA members in the Council of Members. One question that arises is whether PvdA itself has had a good focus on Arib’s behavior and whether PvdA members have had a sufficiently safe working environment all those years. In this article, the NRC spoke about this with eight (former) employees.

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The fact that Oraib clashed with the staff is by no means new. She became a Member of Parliament in 1998 and, already in her first term, had earned a reputation for attributing more employees than other MPs. According to those involved, younger employees in particular are disappointed at a rapid pace. The internal uproar over this at PvdA grew in 2007 as Arib was fired by the Board of Directors of the PvdA Support House (SOT) Foundation, which employs staff for Representatives. For more than five years, Arib has had to find its own employees, and receive them a separate budget. unique.

Although ARIPE ranks low on the list in 2012, it is still in the House because the PvdA, led by Dedrick Samsom, has 38 seats. Samsom takes the initiative to bring her back to the Foundation. When Aribe set himself up as party secretary in 2014, unrest broke out among the staff again. The Works Council issues negative advice. Her nomination would be “unreasonable” because the faction secretary is responsible for personnel policy.

Arab, however, is chosen, according to those involved because party members considered other considerations more important. Arib was known for his criticism of Samsom’s political path and his collaboration with the VVD. The compromise found is that employees who feel insecure do not have to go to Arib, but can also inform other members of the group’s board of directors, including Samsom and Vice President Martijn van Dam.

The (former) employees say Arib’s behavior was not viewed as contrary at the time. “It was a different time, and we didn’t look at it that way then. There was a sigh and a support, it just felt like a hassle.” PvdA members also maintain that Arib has been able to work very well with some of the staff, and that no major problems have arisen after her return to the party establishment in 2012. A spokesperson for the PvdA faction also said that there have been no official reports or complaints about Arib since 2012. In 2016 she was elected as the chairperson of the board.

In addition to ARIP, Member of Parliament Henk Niebuhr also backed down on Tuesday by stepping down from the presidency, followed on Thursday by Vice President Katy Perry. Niebuhr wrote that he “never received much criticism”, “inside and outside my party”, for having agreed to investigate Aribe as a member of the PvdA. Niebuhr stated that he had to maintain an independent role in the presidency and emphasized that, regardless of the color of his party, he wanted to take the complainants seriously. “In our society, there have been too many examples in recent years of whistleblowers being covered in propaganda or political violence.”

Among the (former) employees there is praise for Negpur’s position, and criticism of the unconditional support of prominent PvdA figures for Arib. One of them is: “As an employee, you are fighting against an institution, which is a symbol, and it is always an unequal battle. Hence, it is ironic that outstanding people are involved in this struggle and do not take into account employees who have experienced insecurity.”

Khadija Areb did not respond to a request from the Norwegian Refugee Council for comment.

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