Withdraw Corporatisation Of OFB In Interest Of National Security And Defence Preparedness, Urges AITUC General Council

Government is attempting to hand over all Ordnance Factory Hospitals and Ordnance Factory Schools to private sector, says AITUC

The AITUC General Council is in session at Hyderabad from 5th Feb to 7th Feb 2022. After the inaugural Speech by CPI MP Binoy Viswam, General Secretary Amarjeet Kaur placed the political and Economical Report. C. Srikumar, the National Working Committee Member moved a Resolution on Government Policy on Defence Industry and its impact on National Security. The Content of the Resolution is published below:-


Resolution on Government policy in Defence Sector, implication to National Security and Employees.

The General Council Meeting of the All India Trade Union Congress held from 5th to 7th Feb. 2022 at Hyderabad has noted with serious concern about the recent policy decisions taken by the BJP led Modi Government which will have a very serious impact on the National Security and Defence preparedness of the country. Like all other Government Sector and Public Sector, the Modi Government has fully opened the door of Defence Manufacturing also to the Private Corporates. Licenses are being lavishly issued to the private corporate for manufacturing all types of Military Equipments at the cost of existing State owned Defence Industry like the 41 Ordnance Factories and Defence PSUs under the Ministry of Defence. The Government has succumbed to the pressure of the private corporate and in violation of all the previous assurances and agreements with the Federations of Defence Civilian Employees has splintered the 220 years old Indian Ordnance Factories in to 7 non-viable corporations from 01/10/2021 with the ulterior motive of privatizing all these 7 companies. It is just 4 months after the Corporatisation of the Ordnance Factories, within this 4 months, innumerable number of problems are being faced by the employees, since the Management of all the 7 Corporations have started violating the assurances given to the employees by the Government that they will continue to remain as Central Government Employees/Defence Civilian Employees on deemed deputation and that their service conditions will be protected. Weekly Working hours has been increased from 44 ¾ hours to 48 hours. Government is attempting to hand over all the Ordnance Factory Hospitals and Ordnance Factory Schools to private sector. Industrial Relation Machineries like JCM is suspended, Compassionate Ground appointments is stopped etc. The AIDEF have rightly challenged the Government decision of Corporatisation and the draconian Essential Defence Services Act 2021 in the High Courts. Despite the criminalization of the strike through EDSA-2021 the employees are in relentless struggle against the arbitrary and unilateral decision of the Government in destroying the Defence Industry and tinkering with their service conditions.

The General Council of AITUC also take a serious note of the Government decision to privatise the strategic Army Uniforms/Battle Field Dress, despite the fact that there are 5 Ordnance Factories which are entrusted with the task of manufacturing all types of Troop Comfort items. Ignoring the Ordnance Factories, the Army in collaboration with a Private Textile Mill and National Institute of Fashion Technology have designed and developed a new Digitally Designed Army Uniform and have decided to not to place the order of manufacturing the Army Uniforms to the Ordnance Factories instead go for an open tender, so as to favour the Private Corporates. Allowing the private industries to manufacture the strategic Army Uniforms and Battle Field Dress, will have serious impact on the physical protection of the soldiers and misuse of the same by anti national elements as has happened in the past, resulting in serious security threat.

The AITUC urges upon the Government to place the work order of the newly developed Digital Army Uniform and other Defence Equipments on priority and on nomination basis to the Ordnance Factories, so as to ensure its existence and survival as a war reserve in the interest of the National Security.

The AITUC is of the firm view that the 4 months experience of Corporatisation is that it is not going to help in any manner the Ordnance Factories and its employees. The Government is willfully killing the Ordnance Factories without providing any support and is planfully and systematically liquidating this strategic industry and national asset. The Government should not violate its decision taken in the Cabinet and commitment given before the Parliament and in the High Court that all the Service conditions of the employees will remain protected even after Corporatisation of Ordnance Factories. The AITUC urges upon the Government of India to reconsider its decision by withdrawing the Corporatisation of Ordnance Factories and to bring back the Ordnance Factories as a Departmental Organisation directly under the Ministry of Defence in the interest of the National Security Defence Preparedness and self reliance of the country and also in the interest of the highly competent trained and skilled workforce.

Proposed by : Comrade C. Srikumar, NWC Member/ AITUC

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