Countrywide Demonstration Of Defence Civilian Employees Today

Employees in no mood to accept EDSO-2021 and Corporatisation of Ordnance Factories

The Defence Civilian Employees are in no mood to accept the assurances given by the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh that EDSO-2021 is not being given effect, OFB corporations will be 100% Govt. entity and that their service conditions would be protected. The Federations have decided to observe 22/07/2021 as an All India Protest Day.

Even though the INDWF has taken a U turn and declared that their Unions would not participate in the Joint Action Programmes of the Defence Employees Federations, we are receiving report from different Defence Units that the INDWF affiliated Unions have participated in the Protest Programme with their Flags & Banners.

Our reporters in different states interacted with the Defence Workers and asked them why they are not prepared to believe the Government, since Rajnath Singh has categorically stated that it would be 100% Govt. owned Corporations and that their service conditions would be protected. Many of them replied that there are many such type of assurances such as no Corporatisation of OFB, workload will be fully provided etc., given by the previous governments including the BJP Government has been rejected by the present Government.

Some of them pointed out a News Item which has been published in the leading News papers today. The Government is likely to limit the employee benefit only up to the time it is an owner of the National Air Carrier, Air India, setting the template for the privatization of other public sector companies as part of its strategic sale programme. The Air India Employees are entitled to several benefits which the new Employer is not expected to provide them.

The Air India Employees joined the National Carrier, keeping the benefits in the mind and is working on the assumption that their contract terms will remain unchanged. However the purchase of Air India is not going to provide the facilities whatever the Air India employees are having. They are having medical scheme for retired employees and leave encashment benefit etc. the employees do not want to surrender all these benefits.

However, media reports say once the terms and conditions of Air India is finalized, then it will be used in case of other government bodies, that will be privatized in the coming months. So this gives a clear picture of the idea of the present Government. They will corporatize the Ordnance Factories to begin with 100% Government share and there after like BEML and other Defence PSUs they will start disinvesting the PSUs and ultimate privatization like Air India interacted with many employees who are recruited after 01/01/2004. They are no mood to accept the Corporatisation of Ordnance Factories, since many of them told that they have left public sector undertakings for joining the Government Department even though they are getting more wages and benefits in their erstwhile PSUs. Now, how the Government can once again convert them as a public sector employee. They are more worried about their future, since many are at the age group of late 30s and early 40s with children studying in schools and with the liability of EMIs for the loan taken for purchasing flats, vehicles etc.

Therefore their contention is that some leaders for their own interest may agree for Corporatisation and by compromising the interest of the employees, but the employees of the Ordnance Factories are educated lot and they know what is happening in many public sectors and what is the policy of the Government which is going on selling the PSUs. The Government has not spared LIC, which is basically owned by the Policy holders. When no sector is spared from privatization and especially when 450 private companies have being given license for manufacturing Defence Equipments what will be the fate of 7 Corporations.

Moreover, NPS employees in the Central Government is a major workforce right from IAS officers. They are fighting for restoration of old Pension Scheme. Day by day old employees will retire and the strength of NPS Employees will be more and they will remain as a major workforce to fight against NPS and achieve the Guaranteed Defined Pension under the Pension Rules 1972. From the anger expressed by the employees and their active participation in the massive demonstration today one thing has become clear that they are not going to accept either EDSO-2021 or Corporatisations structure.

Tomorrow, all the major Central Trade Unions including INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU & LPF, Federations of Railway Employees, Postal Employees, Bank Employees, Airport Employees and all public Sector Employees including State Government employees are tomorrow going to demonstrate against EDSO-2021 and Corporatisation issue throughout the country. The Defence Employees movement is gaining momentum like Farmers Struggle and in the coming days we can witness any serious action programmes in support of the Defence Employees.

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