Defence civilian staff announce indefinite strike against corporatisation

Plan to mobilise support of Chief Ministers and leaders of political parties

Defence civilian employees of two ordnance factories in Tiruchi affiliated to five national-level federations of trade unions will join their counterparts across the country in indefinite strike from July 26 to protest against the Centre’s decision to “splinter the 41 ordnance factories into seven corporations.”

The strike will affect the functioning of the factories as employees belonging to All India Defence Employees’ Federation, Indian Natinoal Defence Workers’ Federation, Bharatiya Pratiraksha Mazdoor Sangh, National Progressive Defence Employees’ Federation and All India Bahujan Defence Employees Federation are to take part in the “fight to the last” to save the ordnance factories with a 76,000-strong workforce.

The federations fear that splitting of the Ordnance Factory Board into seven corporations is against the national interest, defence preparedness and security of the country.

The decision to go on indefinite strike was taken at a joint meeting of the federations held on Sunday. The strike that was originally planned from October 9 last was deferred based on a conciliation settlement. The conciliation proceedings were abruptly closed by the Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) earlier this month.

The federations and unions will serve notice for the strike on July 8, both independently and jointly, AIDEF general secretary C. Srikumar said.

The joint decision was conveyed on Tuesday to the Defence Minister, Secretary of Defence Production and Defence Secretary.

In the meantime, the federations have planned to mobilise support of Chief Ministers of all States and leaders of political parties and the Parliamentary Defence Standing Committee for the cause, Mr. Srikumar said.

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