Defence Employees Plan Indefinite Strike in Early 2018 to Protest Privatisation

lcafanboy

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Defence Employees Plan Indefinite Strike in Early 2018 to Protest Privatisation
The Modi government's moves to privatise defence production, marginalise Ordnance Factories and to hand over technology to private players have angered defence employees.

Newsclick Report

13 Nov 2017

Even as the workers in India are planning for an indefinite general strike with district mobilisations in its run-up set to begin in January 2018, the defence employees are also likely to launch an indefinite strike during early 2018.

A massive protest demonstration is going to be held in New Delhi on 28 December 2017, which will be followed by a week-long strike. If no negotiated settlement with the government emerges at the end of the strike, the defence employees will go on an indefinite strike.

The decision had been announced jointly by the three major defence employees unions - the All India Defence Employees Federation (AIDEF), Indian National Defence Workers Federation (INDWF), and the Bharatiya Pratiraksha Mazdoor Sangh (BPMS) in mid-October. Preparations for the demonstration in Delhi and the indefinite strike are proceeding apace. A declaration to this effect was adopted at a meeting of the three federations on 12 October.

The Struggle Committee of Defence Civilian Employees to Save Defence Industry, a forum consisting of AIDEF, INDWF and BPMS, has written to the Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to inform her about the imminent strike.

The letter says that if the decisions taken by the Ministry of Defence and the Department of Defence Production (DDP) under the Ministry regarding 41 Ordnance Factories, Army Base Workshops under Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME), Depots under Ordnance Services Directorate and Military Farms are implemented, there will be far-reaching consequences. The implications will be most adverse for the 216-year old Ordnance Factories and its employees as well as the other defence establishments.

The Federations represent four lakh defence civilian employees, and yet no discussions or consultations have been held with them regarding such policy decisions, the unions said.

The government's decision to give licenses to 222 private companies for defence manufacturing, and to ease the license policy with 100% FDI being allowed for products including those being manufactured by Ordnance Factories, is ill-advised, said the federations in their joint declaration.

They criticised the DDP's "arbitrary decision" to outsource 143 items being produced by Ordnance Factories, and the decision to stop the production of military vehicles at the Vehicle Factory Jabalpur.

The federations expressed concern at the handing over of small arms production to Punj Lloyd, "whose reputation is under scanner since the company is a loan defaulter of Rs.14,000 crores."

The DDP's directive to the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) to stop the system of working overtime on Sundays in lieu of holidays to compensate production loss has resulted in the Ordnance Factories failing in their allotted production target "to the tune of Rs. 2250 crores" and in a huge shortfall in the monthly wages of employees.

The unions are opposing the decision to dismantle the various depots under the Directorate General of Ordnance Services and the Army Base Workshops under the Directorate General of the Corps of Electrical & Mechanical Engineers (EME). The whole exercise is being done "arbitrarily with an intention to hand over the EME Workshops to L&T etc," said the federations.

The Army Headquarters / Adjutant General's Branch has said that 31,012 employees are going to be affected or rendered "surplus" as a result of the decisions of the Ministry of Defence.

The decision to close down 39 Military Farms of the Indian Army would result in 1200 permanent employees getting scattered to different places, and 3000 casual workers being thrown out of their jobs.

The DRDO is being asked to hand over technology of the products which can be manufactured in the Ordnance Factories to the private sector, a recent example being the handover of the technology of the Bi-Modular Charge System (BMCS) jointly developed by OFB and DRDO to private firms.


The Ministry of Defence / Army has also decided to import the "K-9 Thunder" Howitzer Gun from South Korea through L&T, even though its reliability has been challenged by the South Korean Army and the media in South Korea after two soldiers were killed in the trial of the gun.


32% of the sanctioned posts of defence civilian employees are lying vacant, while the Military Engineer Services is in serious crisis due to acute shortage of manpower. The DRDO is also being shrunk, with major research projects being handed over to contractors or private agencies.

The federations demanded that the 41 Indian Ordnance Factories be dedicated as national assets and be treated as an integral part of the Armed Forces. The country is maintaining a large contingent of Army, Navy and Air Force for the security of the country, and the Ordnance Factories should be maintained as the fourth Force of the Defence of the country and also in "War Reserve" capacity.

The assurance given by Defence Ministers in the past that "jobs which can be done by Ordnance Factories should not be outsourced and for any new products required for Armed Forces, Ordnance Factories may be given first Priority" should be fulfilled, demanded the defence federations.

The decision of the DDP to designate 143 items of defence production as "Non-Core" should be withdrawn. Any Defence requirement is a core item, and terming a defence product as "Non-Core" is wrong, said the federations. When in the past the Army went in for procurement of such items from outside in the name of "low technology", the result has been inadequate supply and poor quality of the items supplied.

The three Federations said that till a negotiated settlement is reached between the Ministry of Defence and the Federations, the unity forged between them will be preserved. Any decision with regard to agitational programmes will be taken jointly by the three Federations.

AIDEF, INDWF and BPMS have called upon their affiliated Unions to prepare for the agitation, and to constitute Struggle Committees at the area and unit levels for the purpose.
https://newsclick.in/defence-employees-plan-indefinite-strike-early-2018-protest-privatisation
 

lcafanboy

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Flame Thrower

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What is the gurantee that this news is true..

Given the false articles on Tejas and while some news outlets have declared f-16 as winner of SE tender to which RFI didn't exist till date!?

Let's not foul mouth DPSU based some stupid article.

It is only less than 50 days for the deadline... lets wait and watch.
:popcorn: anyone!?
 

VIP

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These laggards need to be sacked for god's sake.
 

The Ultranationalist

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Bloody idiots, they want to keep their sarkari jobs and supply the forces faulty ammunition and malfunctioning weapons. How many more incidents like the blowing up of M777 before these idiots come to their senses.
 

VIP

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I mean, they could do such strikes or dharnas to seek their rights like salary hike, lawful treatments, etc. But opposing govt policy of including private players is nothing but baby crying for monopoly, they could easily get jobs in private sector with decent salary if good in their fields, competition is always good.
 

Mikesingh

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If they go on strike, the Defence Employees Unions will be slapped with the Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1968.

As per Section 2 (vii), Essential Service includes any service in any defence establishment of the Government of India.

They can be prosecuted for this.
 

Kunal Biswas

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Privatization of ammunition and firearm manufacturing is essential for National Defense Industry Growth ..
 

Kunal Biswas

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Its a gud move that Government is moving towards privatization of ammunition manufacturing, Its about time such measure are taken for development towards National Defense Industry, Also i want to see how some people reject private made ammunition like it does with OFB all the time for import ..

Its not about faulty ammunition or rejection of gud ammunition by Army but war industry need to evolve and cannot be limited to Gov organization only..

If India has to grow strong it needs to grow its defense industry and to an extend that it can deliver it globally, During war targeting few factories will render our industry inefficient, Private sector on other hand can open our factories on foreign lands, If needed we can get supplies from outside but this time its ours for our need ..
 

Shaitan

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It's a losing battle, India's future defence industry will be dominated by the private sector.
 

aliyah

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It's a losing battle, India's future defence industry will be dominated by the private sector.
they allso know that......well this strike + other govt employees + trucker + petrol pumps strike all will be strength testing strikes(strength testing of political parties)........real indefinite strikes will began in mid 2018 as there will be general elections in march 2019.
 

tharun

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Before protesting ask them simple questions
1)WW2 consumed nearly 22 billion(2200 crore) rounds each year.Can ofb make atleast 25% of that in times of war.
2)Can they make atleast one product that can rank best in the world.
3) Can they deliver everything in time according to quality and quantity.
 

undeadmyrmidon

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What is the problem with PSUs? Can't you work hard and perform like the rest of us? I have to slog to take my paycheck home not like some Sarkari White Elephant.
 

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