The Ministry of Defence on 21.06.2021 issued the notification conveying the Cabinet decision to splinter the Ordnance Factories into 7 Corporations. As and when this letter was issued, the three major recognized Federations (AIDEF, INDWF and BPMS) of the Defence Civilian Employees have jointly issued a Letter to Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh and Rajkumar (IAS), Secretary (DP). In their Letter they have charged the Ministry of Defence that the federations strongly feel that the entire process to corporatize O.F Board is stage-managed, hasty and taken in a hurried manner, without any application of mind about the impact of this decision on the defence preparedness of our country and also about the future and service conditions of 76,000 employees. It may also be noted that these employees were recruited as Central Government Employees and as per Article 309 of the Constitution of India. It is also worth a mention that in their appointment letters, there is no mention that their status will be changed during the service period and will have to work in Corporation/PSUs. This decision to alter the service conditions of the employees is a blatant failure to the contract of appointment.
www.indianpsu.com has accessed the copy of the joint Letter addressed to Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh and the contents of the same is reproduced here for the benefit of our viewers.
Shri Rajnath Singh ji,
Hon’ble Defence Minister,
Government of India,
South Block, New Delhi.
Department of Defence Production,
South Block, New Delhi.
Subject : Protest against the arbitrary, one sided and biased decision taken by the Cabinet to splinter the 41 Ordnance Factories into 7 Corporations in violation of all the previous written agreements & assurances – demands to withdraw the same.
Reference : MoD/DDP OM No. dated 1(5)/2021/OF/DP(Plg-V) dated 21.06.2021
The employees of Ordnance Factories are in great anguish and pain on the unsavory decision of the Government of India to slice-away one of the pre-independence Organization called Indian Ordnance Factories into 7 unviable entities. The employees of Indian Ordnance Factories / O.F Board has sacrificed their life in bringing up this great organization into a modern supplier of Arms, Ammunitions and Equipments to the Armed Forces meeting the stringent quality standards all these years.
The employees of Ordnance Factories have even worked for more than 12 Hrs. in each day without bothering about their health to meet the war contingencies of the nation. This commitment of OF Employees has made the Armed Forces to come out with flying colours on year after year and war after war against our enemies.
It is quite painful to mention that many of our employees have also met martyrdom in their line of duty i.e. in equipping the Armed Forces with most reliable and time tested arms and ammunitions. It is regrettable that all these efforts, sincerity and the motto of duty above self practiced by the employees of OFB for more than 200 years has gone in vain when the Cabinet decided to slice a joint family of 41 Ordnance Factories into a unviable nuclear family of 7 to achieve their narrow considerations based on the recommendations of the EGoM chaired by the RM.
It is astonishing that when negotiations are pending, conciliation process is inconclusive, in the absence of the Federations in the conciliation meeting held on 15th June 2021, the Government has taken a hurried decision to corporatize the Ordnance Factory Board into 7 entities.
When Secretary/DP has agreed to arrange a meeting with the Empowered Committee of Ministers to discuss about the alternate proposal(s) given by the Federations, it is not understood that how a hasty decision has been taken by the Government to corporatize OF Board without hearing the stake holders i.e. Recognized Federations of the employees of Ordnance Factory Board. It is a clear case of betrayal by the Government, because Secretary/DP himself has asked the Federations to give a viable alternate and robust proposal to MoD which would be submitted to the EGOM for a discussion with the Federations, so that O.F Board could achieve the higher expectations of its customers, being in the Government set up itself. However, throwing our proposals into the dustbin of South Block and without even hearing us by the EGOM, the Government has unilaterally gone ahead to declare corporatization of O.F Board to show its hegemony and apartheid towards the Workers of Indian Ordnance Factories.
It is peculiar that the Jt. Secretary/LS in the conciliation meeting held on 11.06.2021 during discussion came out with a statement that the demand of the Federations on corporatization is a non-negotiable demand. However, it is brought to the notice of all concerned that negotiations with the Ministers of erstwhile Governments took place on the same point and they have agreed not to corporatize the O.F Board. The details of those decisions and discussions are available with MoD, for ready reference. Moreover the DDP have blatantly violated the conciliation settlement reached on 09/10/2020 and also the Industrial Dispute Act 1947 and no action has been taken by the CLC(C) on the complaint lodged by us.
The federations strongly feel that the entire process to corporatize O.F Board is stage-managed, hasty and took in a hurried manner, without any application of mind about the impact of this decision on the defence preparedness of our country and also about the future and service conditions of 76,000 employees. It may also be noted that these employees were recruited as Central Government Employees and as per Article 309 of the Constitution of India. It may also be noted that in their appointment letters there is no mention that their status will be changed during the service period and will have to work in Corporation/PSUs. This decision to alter the service conditions of the employees is a blatant failure to the contract of appointment.
It is pertinent to mention here that based on the conciliation settlement reached on 09/10/2020, the three recognized Federations of MoD/O.F Board, namely, All India Defence Employees Federation (AIDEF), Indian National Defence Workers Federation (INDWF) and Bharatiya Prathiraksha Mazdoor Union (BPMS) decided to defer the Indefinite Strike Notice given by them. However, it is felt that without giving any importance to the goodwill extended by the Federations, total injustice is meted out by the employees of O.F Board, because the Government has abruptly closed the door for negotiation by arbitrarily deciding to corporatize the O.F Board into 7 different entities and CLC has submitted the failure report on the conciliation proceedings arbitrarily, thereby leaving us with no option other than going ahead with the revival of the deferred indefinite Strike.
It may also please be noted that the decision to go in for Indefinite Strike is thrust upon us by the Government due to its unilateral and unsavory decision to corporatize the 41 Ordnance Factories without considering the genuine and just demands of the employees against this decision and closing of all avenues for a dialogue with the Government.