Ordnance Factory unions threaten stir against corporatisation bid
In a letter to defence minister Rajnath Singh, the unions said: “there will be serious labour unrest resulting in disturbance of defence production in case the consultants appointed by the defence ministry visits the ordnance factories and OFB headquarters.”Updated: Jul 11, 2020 18:00 IST
Three trade unions, representing 82,000 civilian employees of the country’s 41 ordnance factories, on Friday, rejected the appointment of consultants by the Union Ministry of Defence (MoD) for corporatising these factories and threatened the Centre with “serious labour unrest”.
In a letter to defence minister Rajnath Singh, the unions said: “there will be serious labour unrest resulting in disturbance of defence production in case the consultants appointed by the defence ministry visits the ordnance factories and OFB headquarters.”
The OFB is headquartered in Kolkata.
The BPMS is affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological parent of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“The department of defence production in violation of the agreement reached before the chief labour commissioner (Central) on August 21, 2019, have arbitrarily issued a notification for appointment of a consultant …,” said the All India Defence Employees Federation, the Indian National Defence Workers Federation and the Bharatiya Pratikraksha Mazdoor Sangh (BPMS) in a joint media statement.
“The ordnance factories are properties of the government. How can private parties enter these establishments to assess their values? The workers will not tolerate this. We will not allow the government to stretch this issue any further,” Mukesh Singh, general secretary, BPMS, told HT.
The workers observed a month-long strike last year against the proposed move of the government.
On Friday, the unions said that workers would go on indefinite strike and the date would be announced shortly.
The unions started a movement against corporatisation in last July.
The agitation started soon after the Centre enforced Arms Rules 2016, which introduced new laws to facilitate the production of weapons by private players in collaboration with foreign partners.