September 01, 2019

Central Trade Unions Congratulate Defense Employees

THE Central Trade Unions (CTUs) – INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, UTUC, in a statement issued on August 23, have congratulated the defense employees for the successful strike from August 20 in  all the industrial, non-industrial (clerical, office staff) defense production units. Junior officers, charge hands have walked out of 41 ordnance factories (OF). The strike was against the Modi government’s plans to corporatise and then to privatise the ordnance factories. This move of the government will put national security at risk and hence is anti-national.

The government wants these 41 Indian ordnance factories to produce Rs 30,000 crore worth of goods by 2024. The unions have accepted the challenge, but want the government to assure them that the plans to corporatise the ordnance factories will be shelved.

The workmen in essential services like fire-fighting, water and electric supply, hospitals in the ordnance factory colonies have also struck work, but are back manning those services voluntarily, foregoing the salaries for the days of strikes.

This massive strike was peaceful, except in West Bengal, where the oldest ordnance factories are situated. There are reports that the police lathi-charged the striking workers, injuring scores of them, four seriously. The central trade unions have condemned this unprovoked lathi-charge.

The CTUs called upon the Modi government to pay heed to the voice of these soldiers behind the lines, who have struck work not for any of their immediate financial demands but for guaranteeing the supply lines to our armed forces. The government’s plans of corporatisation of ordnance factories will jeopardise just that guarantee.

CTUs also extended their support to the agitations being carried out for almost a month against the move of corporatisation of production units in railways with an eye on its huge lands and resources, actually to pave way for privatisation to benefit corporate houses. It is heartening to note that the family members of the affected employees are also participating in these agitations.