CITU approaches ILO against Essential Defence Services Bill

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on July 26, 2021

Tapan Sen   -  The Hindu

The Bill and related ordinance prevent workers under Ordnance Factory Board from industrial action

Even as the Parliament is likely to discuss the Essential Defence Services Bill this week, the CITU has complained to the ILO Director General Guy Ryder that the Bill is against various ILO conventions and reports approved by Indian Government.

CITU general secretary Tapan Sen said . in the complaint, “The Central government has been actively moving to privatise defence production. And in that direction, the 41 Ordnance Factories which have been functioning under Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) directly controlled and owned by Department of Defence Production, Government of India are being sought to be corporatised in seven entities, registered as seven separate companies under Companies Act to pave the way for and facilitate their privatisation process,” he said in the complaint.

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“In response, the unions served notice of industrial action for breach of assurance by the Government not to corporatise OFB. Against this, the Central Government first issued an Ordinance on June 30 and then introduced in Parliament the Essential Defence Services Bill on July 22 based on the Ordinance prohibiting all types of industrial actions by the unions and the workers. We narrate here our wooing concerns; disastrous consequences posed before the workers and flagrant violation of ILO’s fundamental rights provisions described in ILO conventions including the Core Conventions, resolutions and policies declared on freedom of associations,” Sen said in the complaint.

The three federations in the OFB, including the BMS, had said earlier that they will approach ILO against the corporatisation move. Eleven major trade unions in India such as the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, Indian National Trade Union Congress, All India Trade Union Congress, Hind Mazdoor Sabha, Centre of India Trade Unions, All India United Trade Union Centre, Self Employed Women’s Association, All India Central Council of Trade Unions, Labour Progressive Federation, United Trade Union Congress and the National Front of Indian Trade Unions – Dhanbad are associated with the Indian chapter of ILO.

Published on July 26, 2021

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