Minister Arends confirms SABA workers will receive straightening this year

Minister Arends Confirms Saba Workers Will Receive Rechttrekking This Year.111

There is no doubt that there is currently an open account with the SABA workers and according to Minister Arends this will be paid this year. That’s what the president in charge of Adult Affairs confirmed in the Aruban Parliament on Monday, during the consideration of the supplementary budget for 2023.

For many years there has been a dispute between the three parties, namely the Government, SABA management and SABA workers. In the past, the government has pledged to pay SABA workers a sum that today amounts to approximately 3 million florins. This is called straightening. The government can verify that the funds were transferred to the employer, it’s to the SABA management, to pay the workers. But management on his part says he never received the funds. Meanwhile, the workers were beaten into submission.

During the budget process, the AVP faction asked the Government of Aruba to spend 3 million florins once again, indicating that there is no need to investigate what went wrong the first time. Minister Arends explained that this is not a responsible way to handle public funds. The correct way to address this is to appoint independent parties and let them confirm what exactly happened to the funds that the government sent. Once there is clarity, Parliament can explain where the public funds were allocated. At least three government departments have confirmed that the money has been withdrawn from the government’s coffers. That’s why commissioned an independent study and from that it became necessary to set up an independent working group.

The working group also concluded that there is a need for a thorough investigation of SABA’s administration.

Minister Arends indicated that the investigation will be done anyway, although Parliamentarian Wyatt Ras (AVP) in defense of SABA’s management does not see the need to investigate anything.

A fully independent working group also came to the conclusion that doorlichting was needed and recommended that we do so. This is a necessary step to clarify the matter, according to Minister Arends. Without doorlichting the dispute will remain a back and forth between the Government of Aruba and the management of the foundation.

Minister Arends said that all fellow ministers are aware that the Government has an open account, but not with SABA, but with the workers of SABA. All ministers also know that once there is clarity, the government must deal with the workers. In the first place, the government will try to reach the funds that are in the budget, but if that is not possible, Minister Arends will ask Parliament to approve additional funds. “If that is the case I hope that he will also have the support of the entire Parliament to get these funds to the workers, because it is their right”.

It is to be regretted that the opposition, with the exception of the MAS faction and Independent Parliamentarian Mr. Ryçond Santos do Nascimento, used inflammatory language during the parliamentary session to incite workers, saying that the government wants to punish them. Creating panic and anger does not help to resolve the matter. It is also a pity that the same opposition group is now demanding that the government spend more public funds, without any clarity on what happened to the money already allocated. The tendency to waste has not changed.

“So far there is no clarity, and if there is a need for additional funds, I cannot throw something to Parliament and ask Parliament to approve it without any basis”, Minister Arends said, indicating that he had already announced that he would come to Parliament for additional funds if needed. For the workers the matter should be settled this year.

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