Government Cannot Play With Service Life Of 70,000 Employees Of Ordnance Factories : C. Srikumar, General Secretary, AIDEF

Government should roll back the decision to splinter Ordnance Factories into 7 non-viable Corporation, says the veteran union leader


At present, the government is facing many problems on different fronts. Manipur Violence, Wrestlers Agitation, Farmers’ Agitation, Central and State Government Employees’ Agitation for scrapping of Contributory NPS Pension Scheme and restoration of the guaranteed Old Pension Scheme, Odisha Train Accident, Trade Unions’ Struggles: Workers, Closure of Railways Printing Presses, Postal Employees’ Recognition Withdrawal, Defense Civilian Employees’ Opposition to Corporatization, Deemed Deputation Period and Employee Concerns, are some contentious issues before the government.

AIDEF, a major federation of defense civilian employees, has challenged the government’s decision to corporatize ordnance factories in the Madras High Court. They believe that corporatization is a wrong decision and are advocating for the withdrawal of the decision.

C. Srikumar the General Secretary of AIDEF says that AIDEF and the employees have rejected Corporatization of Ordnance Factories and have challenged the Government Decision in the Madras High Court. We have already demanded the Government that Corporatization should be withdrawn and the employees should be allowed to continue as Central Government Employees, since the government has extended the benefit to the Prasar Bharati Employees. Government and the Corporations cannot play with the service life of the Employees. Why the employees should suffer for the mistake committed by the Government. The Government should have listened to us and should have accepted our proposal to continue the Ordnance Factories in Government and to achieve Rs. 35,000 Crores production target during the next 5 years.

Even now it is not late, government should come forward to withdraw the ill-conceived decision of Corporatization said C. Srikumar.

The Contents of AIDEF Circular dated 14/06/2023 is published here for the benefit of the viewers of

Corporatization of Ordnance Factories and Deemed Deputation of the Employees of 41 Ordnance Factories

We have been receiving queries from our affiliated Unions and comrades about the future of Ordnance Factories especially the status of the more than 70,000 Defence Civilian Employees whose deemed deputation is coming to an end by 30th of September 2023. Therefore, the following position is given for informing the employees and repeatedly to educate them that as and when option is asked by
the Government / Corporations, all of them should give option only to remain as Government Employees till their retirement from service.

All of you are aware that AIDEF is relentlessly fighting against the unilateral decision taken by the present Government to splinter the Ordnance Factories into 7 non viable Corporations. We are fighting through Trade Union struggles and we have also challenged the Government decision in the Madras High Court. In our petition pending before the Madras High Court (WPNO. 19674 of 2021) we have raised 29 grounds on why we are opposing Corporatization and how it is contrary to law, illegal and malafide and therefore the same will not stand the legal scrutiny and liable to be quashed. We have also prayed in our writ petition that the MoD OM dated 21-07-2021 issued by the Ministry of Defence conveying the decision of the Cabinet taken at the meeting on 16-06-2021 to convert the Ordnance Factories in to 7 Corporations should be quashed.

The petition is pending before the Honorable High Court. In the counter affidavit filed by the Government of India, the Ministry of Defence have given the following undertaking before the Honorable High Court.

Para 46:
“The employees of OFB would continue to be Central Government Employees till they themselves opt to get permanently absorbed in the new Companies and they are being sent on deemed deputation, initially for a period of two years.”

Para 47:
“Unless the OFB employees chose to opt for permanent absorption in the new DPSUs, they would continue as Central Government servants and their pay scales, allowances, leave, medical facilities, career progression and other service conditions will also continue to be governed by the extant rules, regulations and orders, as are applicable to the Central Government servants.”

From the above it is amply clear that the Government cannot force any employee to join the Corporations. Due to the efforts taken by our Federation and our Affiliated Unions and the joint efforts, the employees have taken a clear position that at any cost they will not join the 7 corporations and that they will remain as Central Government Employees / Defence Civilian Employees till their retirement from service. This message has gone to the Government also.

It is understood that the Committee constituted by the Ministry of Defence consisting of JS (LS) and the 7 Director HR of the Corporations have given certain recommendations for formulating HR policy. On this HR policy the Government it seems is not in a position to take any decision to further proceed for asking options from the employees etc., Therefore if the Government / Corporations doesn’t ask option from the employees well before 30th of September 2023 then they are left with no other option than to extend the deemed deputation period by getting the approval of EGOM.

All of us know Corporatization of Ordnance Factories is an utter failure and today many Ordnance Factories are struggling for workload, wherever workload is available raw materials and components are not available, wages of the employees have been drastically reduced, Industrial Relations are deteriorating day by day in the factories. Officers, Middle Management and the entire workforce is demoralized. Only the Top level officers take law into their hands and subjecting everybody under pressure and stress by victimizing them/transferring them without adopting any policy. Instead of filling up of the vacancies through Direct Recruitment the Corporations are resorting for Recruitment of Ex-Trade Apprentices on contract basis and even the retired employees are being given contractual appointment.

For more than 2 years in the Ordnance Factories no compassionate appointment has been given to the dependents of deceased employees including those who have died in the factory accidents.

Admissions in the Ordnance Factories Schools have been completely stopped, Kendriya Vidyalaya Schools have also stopped the quota for admission to the factory employees children.

Ordnance Factories Hospitals are struggling and not able to provide the required medical services.

We have already given in writing to the Government that the Government decision is a misadventure and a total failure. If this situation continues then existence of the 41 Ordnance Factories itself will be a big question. The Government should realize their mistakes and should roll back the hopeless decision taken by them to splinter the Ordnance Factories into 7 non-viable Corporation. Our struggle and fight will continue till the Government withdraws its wrong decision. In view of the above our struggle against Corporatization and also to retain our status as Central Government employees / Defence Civilian Employees should continue and intensified. In the meantime we should continue to educate the employees that at any cost they should not join the Corporations.

The above article is based on the views of C. Srikumar, General Secretary of AIDEF and on the statement issued by the AIDEF

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