Government should reconsider its decision as Defence Industry has always stood with country in times of war and peace, opines C. Srikumar, General Secretary of AIDEF
The Federations of the Trade Unions of the Defence Civilian Employees and the Associations are relentlessly fighting against the Government decision to Corporatize the Ordnance Factories. After the announcement of the Government decision to convert the 219 year-old Indian Ordnance Factories into a Corporation / Public Sector, the 79,000-strong workforce have rejected the Government decision and are in a relentless agitation. Ultimately a strike notice was served on the Government for an indefinite strike commencing from 12-10-2020. After the intervention of the Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) a conciliation settlement was reached on 9-10-2020 and accordingly the indefinite strike was deferred. On one side the Government is holding dialogue with the Federations and on the other side, it is going ahead with its decision to convert Ordnance Factories into a Corporation.
Today since the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGOM) consisting Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar and DOP&T Minister Dr. Jitender Singh, are meeting to discuss about the modalities of Corporatization of Ordnance Factories, the Federations have decided to observe "Pledge Taking Day" by more than 79,000 employees of the Ordnance Factories against Corporatization of Ordnance Factories.
Initially the three Recognised Federations (AIDEF, INDWF & BPMS) took the decision that when the Empowered Group of Ministers meet on 02/03/2021 the employees will take a pledge that they reject the Government’s decision of converting the Ordnance Factories in to a Corporation. Subsequently the CDRA which represents the various Staff Associations and also the OFB Hqrs., Staff Association also participated in the pledge taking programme. During the morning hours a common pledge was taken through the Gate Meeting and there after section wise pledge taking was held during the lunch break and tea break. The signatures obtained in the pledge format were handed over to the Sr.GM/GM of the respective Ordnance Factories for forwarding the same to the Secretary (Defence Production) and the Defence Minister.
www.Indianpsu.com contacted C.Srikumar, General Secretary of the All India Defence Employees Federation and asked him about the future course of action to be adopted by the the three Federations in the coming days. He stated that it is most unfortunate that the Government which is supposed to be a model employer is violating all previous agreements and assurances and also is violating the conciliation settlement reached with the Chief Labour Commissioner(Central), while the employees and their Trade Unions are honoring the conciliation settlement by deferring the Indefinite Strike the Government which is duty bound to not proceed with its decision on Corporatisation, is going ahead in full speed to implement its decision for converting the Ordnance Factories in to a Corporation. The Federations have already lodged a complaint in this regard to the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and also to the CLC(C). If the Government continues with its unfair and anti labour attitude, then the Federations have to decide about very serious Trade Union Action programme. He also stated that the Government should reconsider its decision not only in the interest of ordnance Factories and its employees but also in the interest of National Security and Defence preparedness of the country and should retain the Ordnane Factories as a Government Organisation and extend all support to strengthen this vital Defence Industry which always stood with the country during both peace and war time.