Do Not Attack Trade Union Rights And Workers Rights In Defence Industry – AIDEF To Observe All India Protest Day on April 28, 2023

Corporatisation, Privatisation, Outsourcing, Fixed Term Employment etc are to dilute and eliminate Trade Unions – alleges C. Srikumar, General Secretary, AIDEF

The 4 lakh Defence Civilian Employees working under Ministry of Defence are a disturbed lot. Already 41 Ordnance Factories are corporatized, now MES Corporatisation is being discussed in the Ministry of Defence. Large scale outsourcing is taking place in DRDO, Navy and other Establishments.

There is a proposal under consideration of the Ministry of Defence to implement the report of National Productivity Council to downsize DGQA. Various Ordnance Depots including the Central Ordnance Depot in Mumbai are going to be closed. Government is going ahead with all these decisions without holding any discussions with the stakeholders i.e. the recognized Federations of Defence Civilian Employees. The representations of the Federations including AIDEF are being ignored by the Government.

Many agitations were already held in the Defence Industry. In this backdrop, the National Executive Committee of AIDEF met at Aruvankadu in Tamil Nadu on the 29th & 30th of this month. The National Executive Committee of AIDEF passed many resolutions.

One of the important resolution is to observe All India Protest Day on 28.04.2023 against the mounting attack on Trade Union rights and Workers rights in the Defence Industry. has accessed a copy of the resolutions passed by the AIDEF National Executive Committee which we are publishing here for the benefit of the viewers of

To understand why the AIDEF for the first time has passed such a resolution and going for an agitation on a single point agenda on attack against Trade Unions, contacted C. Srikumar, General Secretary, AIDEF. He said that the present Government is completely neglecting the Trade Unions and refuse to accept the fact that the Trade Unions are also constitutional institutions which represents the workforce of the country. India is a founder member country of ILO.

According to ILO, all the member countries should convene their Labour Conference every year to discuss and sort out the issues relating to workers. However, the present Government has not convened the Indian Labour conference after 2015. Labour Laws are being tinkered and converted into pro-corporate Labour codes neglecting and rejecting the views of the Trade Unions. The Joint Consultative Machinery formed in 1966 to discuss and settle the issues and grievances of Central Government employees has become defunct.

The Ministry of Defence is not holding any meeting of the JCM despite representation by me as Leader/Staff Side of the JCM. All decisions which affects the Defence Civilian employees are being taken arbitrarily such as Corporatisation of Ordnance Factories, abolition of posts in the name of downsizing and handing over the same jobs to the contractors, denial of work of Ordnance Factories, proposal to corporatize MES, closure of Army workshops, GOCO model in Army workshops and Depots, employment of Ex-Trade Apprentices on Contract basis to exploit them etc are taking place in the Ministry of Defence.

Even Compassionate Ground Appointment to the families of the deceased employees are stopped in the Ordnance Factories and Army workshops. In the Navy, large-scale outsourcing is taking place, DRDO projects are being handed over to private sector. DGQA is being downsized 2.90 lakh posts lying vacant in the Defence Ministry is not being filled up. Trade Union rights are denied to many categories and many Defence Establishments. Recently, the employees of ISRO have gone on an agitation protesting against the PMOs decision to not recognize the majority Association and to stall the functioning of JCM. All these issues were considered seriously by the National Executive Committee of AIDEF chaired by its President Mr. S.N.Pathak and the meeting took an unanimous decision to fight back against this anti-labour attitude of the Government to attack Trade Unions and workers rights.

The Defence Civilian employees will observe 28th of April 2023 as an All India Protest Day against the attack on Trade Unions and workers rights. Our struggle will continue till the Government changes its attitude. Resolution to observe All Indian Protest Day on 28.04.2023 against mounting attack on Trade Union rights and workers rights in the Defence Industry.

The National Executive Committee of the AIDEF in its meeting held on 29th & 30th of March 2023 has noted with deep concern against the mounting attack on the Trade Union rights and workers rights in the Defence Industry. Article 19 (1) (c) of the Constitution of India guarantees to all citizens the right to form Associations and Unions. Even before the adoption of the Indian Constitution after independence by the Constituent Assembly in 1949, which came into effect from 26 th of January, 1950, the Indian Trade Union Act 1926, was passed by the British Parliament.

Thereafter, due to the decades of struggles by the Indian Working Class achieved various rights and Labour Laws including recognition of the Trade Unions, Works Committee under ID Act 1947, Joint Consultative Machinery (JCM), Additional Meeting Mechanism etc. Off late it is observed that all these rights in the Defence Industry is under attack because of the anti worker policies and attitude being adopted in the Ministry of Defence by the MoD Authorities.

The National Executive Committee of AIDEF expresses its deep concern Trade Union rights are denied for the workers of Military Hospitals and Training Centers of the Army, Navy and Air Force even though these institutions are “Industry” under the ID Act 1947. The Chargeman category which is not having any administrative, Supervisory or Managerial powers are also denied Trade Union rights in the Defence Industry. The Government is deliberately diluting the role of the Defence Industries by corporatizing the Ordnance Factories, implementation of GOCO model in EME, restructuring of DGQA, proposal to Corporatize MES, closure of Depots and Workshops and large scale of outsourcing in Navy, MES, DRDO and other Defence Industries, post Corporatization of Ordnance Factories the Corporations decision to appoint Ex-Trade Apprentices on contract basis for fixed period to exploit them, to appoint retired employees and officers for fixed term thereby denying employment opportunity to the youth of the country etc. are being done with the ulterior motive of weakening and eliminating Trade Unions from the Defence Industry.

The MoD Authorities including MES are denying meetings to the recognized Federation. Meetings are not arranged with the Defence Secretary and other Senior Officials in the MoD. Representations of the recognized Federations are not being addressed. The JCM Scheme at all levels and the Additional Meeting Mechanism has become defunct. In the Unit level the Managements are harassing the Trade Unions and the Trade Union workers. Trade Union leaders are being threatened with transfer, disciplinary actions etc. for their genuine Trade Union activities.
AIDEF cannot sit as a silent spectator against all these atrocities and attacks against the Trade Unions and workers. Considering the above situation, the National Executive Committee of the AIDEF has decided to protest against this anti-labour attitude and approach of the MoD and to register the protest it has been unanimously decided to observe 28.04.2023 as “All India Protest Day” against mounting attacks on Trade Union rights and workers rights. The AIDEF calls upon the affiliated Unions to observe the protest day programme in the following manner :-

27.04.2023 – Issuing of Pamphlets informing the Resolution adopted in the National Executive Committee Meeting including local issues.

28.04.2023 – To observe “All India Protest Day” by wearing Black Badge and holding Gate Meeting to explain the situation to the employees.

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