Withdraw Failed Corporatisation Of Ordnance Factories – Ten Central Trade Unions Jointly Write To Rajnath Singh

Even INTUC, which initially supported corporatisation of OFBs, has changed its stance

Federations of Ordnance Factory Employees are relentlessly fighting against the Corporatisation of 41 Ordnance Factories, a decision taken by the Modi Government. The Federations have already written to the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh that Corporatisation is a failed experiment, since post Corporatisation the Ordnance Factories are struggling with out workload, so much so the bonus to the employees in 5 Corporations has become much less than what was prior to Corporatisation. Armed Forces are placing work order to private Sector ignoring Ordnance Factories. The employees deemed deputation period is extended for one more year. The Corporations because of their poor financial conditions are not able to frame their HR Policies. The Federations have demanded for withdrawal of Corporatisation and in the mean time to publish a notification to keep the 70000 employees as Central Govt Employees in the 7 DPSUs till their retirement from service. The government is tight lipped over their demand.

In this situation, 10 Central Trade Unions including AITUC, HMS, CITU & INTUC have written to Raksha Mantri, Shri Rajnath Singh, urging him to withdraw Corporatisation of Ordnance Factories and to stop Privatisation of DRDO etc.

INTUC Federation in the past has supported corporatisation and demanded Package from the government for the employees to join the 7 Companies. However, now the INTUC Central Trade Union has also signed the joint letter along with the Left Trade Unions. On this sudden change of approach of INTUC, www.indianpsu.com asked C. Srikumar, General Secretary of AIDEF as to why this change of stance by the union. He stated that AIDEF, the pioneer federation of Trade Unions of Defence Employees is all along opposing Corporatisation of Ordnance Factories and we know it will destroy the Ordnance Factories and the Country will pay a high cost as it is connected with the defence preparedness of our country. Whatever AIDEF has told Rajnath Singh ji, Defence Minister, has now become true and the army is blatantly placing orders to the 0private Sector and the Order Book of many Ordnance Factories are becoming almost NIL.

He added that this fight will Continue till Corporatisation is withdrawn and thatwWe cannot allow DRDO, Ordnance Factories and other Defence Industry to be destroyed. AITUC, HMS, CITU, LPF and other left CTUs, right from the beginning are fully supporting our struggle. However, the INTUC was initially in favor of Corporatisation and in the meeting held with RM Rajnath Singh, they supported the government decision. But now, along with other 9 CTUOs, INTUC has also signed the joint letter urging the government to withdraw corporatisation of OFBs.

A copy of the joint letter addressed to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is published here for the benefit of the viewers of www.indianpsu.com

Shri Rajnath Singh,
Defence Minister,
Government of India
New Delhi

Central Trade Unions urge the Government of India to Withdraw Corporatization of 41 Ordnance Factories and to restore the status of Ordnance Factories as Ordnance Factory Board directly under Government and to stop privatization of Defence Research and Production Activities The Defence Industries including the Ordnance Factories and DRDO, etc are the most strategic Industries which play a very vital role in the Defence Preparedness of our Country in achieving self-reliance. Under the pressure of Private Corporates, many committees appointed by the Government have recommended for corporatizing the Ordnance Factories. However the first NDA Government led by Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee followed by the UPA Governments and also in the NDA Government led by Shri Narendra Modi, when Late Manohar Parrikar was the Defence Minister, these recommendations were outright rejected and at least 5 Defence Ministers have given written assurance to the Trade Unions that Ordnance Factories would not be corporatized.

In violation of the above assurances, taking advantage of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the present Government unilaterally appointed KPMG Advisory Services Private Limited by paying them Rs.6 Crores as consultation fees and based on their recommendations, the Cabinet took a wrong decision against the interest of our Country, to splinter the Ordnance Factories into 7 non-viable Corporations. Despite the opposition from the entire workforce of the Ordnance Factories and their Trade Unions, the Government implemented its decision and the more than 72,000 employees who are all Central Government Employees / Defence Civilian Employees were posted unilaterally to these 7 Corporations on Deemed Deputation. Within 2 years of Corporatization, it is clearly proved that Corporatization of Ordnance Factories is a failed experiment by the Government since the Armed Forces are forcing theses Corporations to compete with the Private Sector for getting work done.

This has resulted in a situation that more than 50% of the Ordnance Factories are idling without work and they companies are struggling even to pay the monthly wages of the employees. Armed Forces are placing orders on Private Sector for cheap rate who are notorious for supplying poor quality and sub standard equipment to the Armed Forces. Even Compassionate Ground Appointment to the dependents of the deceased employees, including the employees who died in accidents while performing their duties, are not given. The commitment of the Government for hand holding the Corporations has become a false assurance. Another proof that the splintering of Ordnance Factories into 7 non-viable Corporations is a failed decision is that the Government themselves, within 2 years of corporatization, have now appointed another consultant SBI CAPS for reducing the 7 Corporations to 4 Corporations and also to merge 1 Corporation IOL with BEL which has only 51% Government Share.

Since it is proved beyond doubt that corporatization of Ordnance Factories is a failed experiment and a wrong decision, the Government should come forward to withdraw its decision and to restore the status of the 41 Indian Ordnance Factories as Ordnance Factory Board as existed on 30th September 2021. The Government should come out with a white paper about the workload position in the Ordnance Factories prior to the corporatization and post corporatization. This year bonus paid to the employees itself is another clear proof that majority of the 7 Corporations are sinking.

The Central Trade Unions are also very much concerned about the large scale privatization and outsourcing of Defence Research, Production and other related activities which are not at all in the interest of National Security. The Government has already allotted 25% of the DRDO Budget to the Private Sector and is permitting the Private Sector to use the facilities of DRDO built with Tax Payers money. Recently Prof. Vijayaraghavan Committee has been setup by the Government with the Terms
of Reference of “Restructuring and Redefining the role of DRDO”. The ultimate intention is to privatize the DRDO Laboratories. Similarly the National Productivity Council has been asked to reduce the role of Quality Assurance Agency the DGQA.

Handing over the Defence Production and all related activities ruthlessly to the Private Sector will ultimately result in a situation where these Corporates will become Defence Production monopolies and they will start dictating Terms to the Government and the Armed Forces will be forced to remain at their mercy for their Defence requirement for protecting our country.

The Central Trade Unions, after thoroughly analyzing the developments taking place in the Defence Industries due to the retrograde Defence Industries Policies being followed by the present Government, are already opposing these policies and now urge upon the Government of India to review its unilateral decisions of corporatization and privatization of Defence Industry. The Central Trade Unions congratulate the Defence Civilian Employees and their Trade Unions for not surrendering before the Government and fighting relentlessly to save the Defence Industry and its employees.

The Central Trade Unions extend all their support to the struggle of the Defence Civilian Employees to save the Government Defence Industries from the Liquidation and Privatization.

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