Government Reiterates In Parliament That Service Conditions Of Ordnance Factory Employees Will Be Protected

Major Federations including AIDEF, BPMS & CDRA say assurances are not being kept

Today, in the parliament CPI MP, Binoy Viswam, raised questions on the issues and difficulties being faced by the employees of 41 Ordnance Factories who are on deemed deputation to the newly created 7 Corporations from 1st Oct. 2021. Federations have written so many representations to the Defence Minister and the Defence Secretary pointing out the violations being made by the 7 Corporations and altering their service conditions in violation of the commitment given to the Federations, Parliament and even to the High Courts. In this situation today in Parliament, CPI MP, Binoy Viswam, raised certain question on the service matters of the employees of the 41 Ordnance Factories. In a written reply given to the Binoy Viswam by the Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt, the following reply has been given :-

Shri.Binoy Biswam – Will the Minister of Defence be please to state :

(a) Whether Government had made any assurances to the Employees regarding their service conditions and applicability of rules and regulations of Central Government employees to the Employees of the Ordnance Factories;
(b) Whether the Ministry has received representation from employees Unions/Federations regarding the arbitrary change in service conditions by the new management of the seven new Corporations;
(c) If so, the steps the Ministry has taken to address these issues;
(d) Whether the employees of the Ordnance Factories are now on “deemed deputation” to the seven new corporations
(e) The total number and value of contracts currently with the seven Corporations?

Answer by Minister of State for Defence Shri. Ajay Bhatt

(a) Yes, sir. The Government is committed to safeguard the interests of erstwhile Ordnance Factory Board(OFB), as mentioned at various forums including during interactions with the Federations. Accordingly the Government has taken the following steps:-

  • Till such time, the employees remain on deemed deputation to the new DPSUs, they shall continue to be subject to all the extant rules, regulations and orders as are applicable to the Central Government servants, including related to their pay scales, allowances, leave, medical facilities, career progression and other service conditions.
  • The Pension liabilities of the retirees and existing employees will continue to be borne by the Government. For the employees recruited after 01/01/2004, National Pension Scheme applicable to the Central Government Employees is in vogue and the same would be adopted by the new DPSUs, including continuation of all special provisions applicable to Central Government employees under the National Pension System.

(b) And (c): Yes, sir, The Ministry has received representations from the erstwhile OFB employees’ Federations and Associations in this regard. The Department has held several discussions at various levels with them regarding their concerns about the service conditions of the employees of the erstwhile OFB. It has been explained and assured to them that the service conditions of the employees of the erstwhile OFB would continue as Central Government employees till they are on deemed deputation to the new DPSUs.

(d) Yes Sir. The employees of the erstwhile OFB belonging to the Production Units and also the identified non-production units are on deemed deputation to the seven new Corporations initially for a period of two years from the appointed date, that is from 01/10/2021.

(e) Currently, 115 contracts with contract value of Rs.79,834.05 crore are available with the seven new Corporations. after studying the reply given in the parliament, contacted C. Srikumar, General Secretary of All India Defence Employees Federation and asked his reaction. He responded as follows:

1) The fact remains that the Government assurances are only in paper and the Corporations are blatantly violating the same. For examples, few such violations are given below

a) Two Corporations of Ordnance Factories namely TCL & India Opto Ltd., have unilaterally increased the weekly working hours of the employees from 44 ¾ hrs to 48 hrs. This is a clear violation of the Govt. assurances on protection of Service conditions.

b) Ordnance Factory Employees and their family members are governed under Ordnance Factory Medical Regulations, according to which they are entitled to take medical treatment from the Ordnance Factory Hospitals. The Government has proposed to various State Governments to take over these Hospitals, which is against the violation of the Protection of the Service Conditions.

c) The Industrial Relation Machinery like JCM Council at the Factory and Headquarters level has been suspended and not functioning. This is another violation of the Cabinet decision.

d) Compassionate Appointment is completely stopped, even though the employees remain as Central Government Employees.

e) After the Financial Year 2022-23 many Factories under the new Corporations will have no workload. No commitment from the Government in this regard. The above are only a few examples. The AIDEF, BPMS & CDRA have jointly submitted several representations in this regard to the Defence Minister, Defence Secretary & Secretary(DP), for which we have not received any response from the Government.

Therefore, what is being told in the Parliament by the Minister of State and what is the reality is totally different. Now at least the Raksha Mantri should intervene and ensure that all the above violations are withdrawn and the Govt. stands by its commitments given to the Parliament, to the Court and of course to the Federations, failing which we will be forced to commence our next phase of agitation.

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