Corporatisation Issue: Ordnance Factory Employees Plan Protest

Defence Industry

New Delhi: Even as the country battles the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of civilian employees in Ordnance Factory and the Heavy Alloy Penetrator Project Factory will send letters on May 21 to the Prime Minister and Defence Minister against corporatisation of ordnance factories.

On May 22, members of All India Defence Employee Federation unions will wear black badge and ribbon to express their disapproval of the increase in working hours and freezing and scrapping of labour laws.

The unions are opposed to the arbitrary decision to convert the 219-year-old state-owned Indian Ordnance Factories into a Corporation and listing it in the share market.

They fear that corporatisation will affect their service conditions and future, and emphasise that the ordnance factories need to function as a government organisation in the interest of national security and defence preparedness.

They intend to convey through the protests their anguish over the government decision to abolish 9,304 posts in Military Engineering Services and abolition of posts in other army units, denial of National Pension Scheme for defence employees, and the move to bring in foreign direct investment in defence. They think denial of fixed term employment takes away job security and reservation in government jobs.

The first phase of programme opposing corporatisation of ordnance factories involving participation of 82,000 employees have been formulated by the AIDEF, Indian National Defence Workers Federation, and Bharatiya Pratiraksha Mazdoor Sangh, C Srikumar, general secretary of AIDEF said.

Depending on developments, the protest will be intensified by employees of 41 ordnance factories, he said.