Defence Federation conducts Strike Ballot and 82,000 Defence Civilian Employees of 41 Ordnance Factories Will Go For an Indefinite Strike against the Decision of the Government to Convert 219 years old Indian Ordnance Factories into a Corporation / PSU



82,000 Defence Civilian Employees of 41 Ordnance Factories Will Go For an Indefinite Strike against the Decision of the Government to Convert 219 years old Indian Ordnance Factories into a Corporation / PSU

The Federations oppose the decision of the government to convert Army base workshops in to GOCO model and abolition of vacancies in MES and Army Units !

Strike Ballot to be taken all over the country between 08.06.2020 to 17.06.2020

The 3 Recognised Federations (AIDEF, INDWF & BPMS) of the Trade Unions of the 82,000 Defence Civilian Employees working in the 41 Indian Ordnance Factories have taken a decision to go ahead with the preparations for an indefinite strike against the arbitrary, illegal and unjustified decision taken by the Government to corporatise the most strategic Ordnance Factories. This decision of the Government announced by the Finance Minister during the 4th Tranche of the Rs.20 lakh crore financial relief to meet the COVID-19 economic crisis under “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abiyan” is against the agreement between the recognised Federations and the Ministry of Defence in the past. Former Defence Minister late. George Fernandez, Shri. Pranab Mukherjee, Shri. A.K.Antony and late Manohar Parrikar have given written commitments that the Ordnance Factories would not be corporatised. The present decision of the Government is against all these assurances and agreements.

Apart from the above when the present Government included the subject of Corporatization of Ordnance Factories in its 100 days agenda, the Federations opposed the move of the Government and called for a one month strike which commenced on 20-8-2019. During the 5th day of the strike based on the direction given by the Chief Labour Commissioner (CLC) a settlement was reached with the then Secretary (DP) and present Defence Secretary Dr. Ajay Kumar wherein he has assured that no final decision has been taken by the Government with regard to Corporatization of OFB. Based on his assurance that a High Level Official Committee (HLOC) will be constituted to study the possibility of the OFB achieving Rs. 30,000 crores production target in the present setup, the Strike was deferred.

Since, there was a dispute between the Federations and the Government with regard to the terms of reference the Federations represented to the Honourable Defence Minister during October 2019 to intervene and change the terms of reference of the HLOC. However without considering the pending representation of the Federations, taking advantage of the COVID-19 lock down the Government have arbitrarily made the announcement that OFB will be Corporatised and will be listed in the Share Market

Government Decision to convert Ordnance Factories into Corporation hurts 82000 Employees
The above decision of the Government has hurt the 82,000 employees, since all these employees were engaged in manufacturing of all types of PPE’s required for the Doctors, Nurses and Para medical staff for fighting against the COVID-19 spread. They have taken risk of their life and were working throughout the COVID-19 lockdown. The Government instead of recognising their service to the Country have taken a major decision to convert this War industry as a PSU and thereafter to privatise the same.

This decision of the Government is against the Defence preparedness and National security of our country. Moreover it will overnight change the service conditions of the 82,000 employees and their status as Central Government employees which will be snatched away. In spite of our repeated representation to the Defence Minister and the Defence Production Secretary there is no positive response and hence the Federations are left with no other option than to go for an Indefinite Strike demanding the Government to withdraw its decision to Corporatize the Ordnance Factories. The date of the Commencement of the Indefinite Strike will be decided after the completion of the Strike Ballot which is scheduled between 8-6-2020 to 17-6-2020 throughout the country.

The Federations also are opposing the decision taken by the Government against other Defence Industries like MES, and EME. While 9304 vacancies in MES the Army Base Workshops under EME are being handed over to Private Sector in the name of GOCO Model. The Federations have already opposed the move and we will be separately deciding for serious Trade Union Action programme in these Defence Units also. The Federations also oppose the decision of the Government for allowing 74% FD] in Defence production.