September 01, 2019

Defence Strike Deferred

THE strike of the defence employees has been deferred/postponed by the three major unions and Confederation of Defence Recognised Association (CDRA) that were spearheading it. On August 23, a meeting with secretary, defence production, was held in which this decision was taken to postpone the strike on the assurance given by the government through the secretary. The secretary apprised the union leadership that ‘no final decision’ has been taken to privatise or corporatise the ordnance factories in the country.

There is also an assurance given by the government that all the other concerns expressed by the workers federations will be considered positively. Meanwhile the unions have congratulated the workers who have stood firm during the strike, in the background of intimidation and threats issued by the government to impose ESMA etc. They have also thanked other trade unions working in different sectors for lending support to the strike.

A high-level official committee has been set to continue negotiations with the unions to examine various aspects of the demands raised by the unions and make suitable recommendations to the government. The unions have however alerted the workmen that this is not the end of the struggle and that it has just been postponed. In case the government does not honour its commitment, the unions will be forced back to resort to direct actions.

The unions have once again reiterated the main demands of the strike which continue to be relevant

  • Not to allow corporatisation of ordnance factories.
  • The target to augment production of OFB to Rs 30,000 crore by 2024-25 to be achieved without corporatisation with adequate help from the government.
  • Experts many be engaged in the OFB production augmentation without privatising, rather through enhancing the capacity of the OFB.
  • The army should be asked to place its indent at least three years in advance so that the order can be met with.