The 4 lakh Defence Civilian Employees and their Trade Unions have decided, not to settle down with the assurances of the Government that EDSO-2021 is not harmful, OFB Corporations will be 100% Government owned and that employees service conditions will be protected. The 4 Federations (AIDEF, BPMS, NPDEF and AIBDEF) of the Defence Civilian Employees have now decided to observe a “Fortnight Signature Campaign” from 02.08.2021 to 14.08.2021.
In this regard the Federations have issued the Model Petition to all their affiliated Unions in which the Unions are directed to approach each and every employee and get their signature in the format. www.indianpsu.com has accessed a copy of their Joint Circular dated 25.07.2021 in which the Petition format is enclosed. The contents in the Petition addressed to The Chairman of the Parliament Committee on Petition is given below for the benefit of our viewers.
Parliamentary Committee on Petitions
Parliament Complex, New Delhi.
Subject : Petition against Essential Defence Services Ordinance Bill 2021 and Corporatisation of 220 years old Indian Ordnance Factories.
We the undersigned Defence Civilian Employees working in various Defence establishments like Ordnance Factories, DGQA, DRDO, MES, EME, AOC, Navy, Airforce, DGAQA, DGAFMS and other Directorates under the Ministry of Defence wish to submit the following for the favourable consideration of the Petition Committee of the Parliament.
The Indian Ordnance Factories are the backbone of the Defence preparedness of our country manufacturing all types of Arms & Ammunitions, Tanks, Troop Comfort Items, Parachutes, Electronic Equipments etc., The Ordnance Factories Organisation containing 41 Units spread all over India is 220 years old entity which have played a vital role in all the war India have won including the Bangladesh liberation war and the Kargil war. The Ordnance Factories being strategic defence industry have to maintain spare capacity/war reserve for meeting any eventuality and also in dealing with any emergent situation in peace time like COVID-19 crisis.
The Ordnance Factories are kept under the Direct control of the Government under Ministry of Defence due to the above reason and also due to the reason of fluctuating requirements of the Armed Forces. Therefore, Ordnance Factories cannot be treated as a commercial organisation. However many committees in the past have recommended for Corporatisation of the Ordnance Factories which the previous five Defence Ministers have not agreed due to the above reasons. However the present Government in violation of all the previous agreements have decided to splinter the Ordnance Factories into 7 non viable corporations.
Against this illogical decision of the Government, the employees of Ordnance Factories and their Trade Unions are agitating and demanding the Government to withdraw the decision of Corporatisation of Ordnance Factories in the National interest. Since Government has refused to consider our demands the Unions have decided to go in for an Indefinite strike.
The Government of India instead of negotiating with the representatives of the employees, has promulgated a draconian law called Essential Defence Services Ordinance 2021 on 30th of June 2021 and has now placed it in the Parliament on 22-7-2021 for ratification in the form of a Bill as Essential Defence Services Act 2021. The employees and Trade Unions of ordnance Factories are opposing this EDSO-2021 Bill since it takes away the fundamental and legal right of the employees to strike and bringing in punitive actions like dismissal from service without inquiry, imprisonment upto 2 years and penalty upto Rs.15,000 which is a clear violation of Article 19 of the Indian Constitution.
We, the Defence Civilian Employees are workers of the Defence Industry, involved in manufacturing process and maintenance activities and are governed under Trade Union Act 1926 and Industrial Dispute Act 1947, which provides the right to organise and strike work after following the procedures laid down in the ID Act 1947 and Recognition Rules for Trade Unions of the Ministry of Defence. This democratic and legal right of the Defence Civilian Employees cannot be snatched away through the draconian EDSO-2021. Therefore, we earnestly request your honour, that the Petition Committee of the Parliament may kindly examine both the above grievances of the 4 lakh Defence Civilian Employees and to advice the Government to :-
1) Withdraw the EDSO Bill 2021 from the Parliament and scrap the same, since it is against ID Act 1947, Trade Union Act 1926 and Article 19 of the Constitution of the Country.
2) Withdraw the splintering of Ordnance Factories into 7 Corporations and permit the Ordnance Factories to continue as a Government organisation by implementing the alternative proposals / robust proposals given by the Federations to strengthen the Ordnance Factories with more efficiency, autonomy and accountability.