CTUs join protest against Defence Services Ordinance Bill

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 23, 2021

Opposition moves statutory motions in Parliament against Ordinance

Ten Central Trade Unions held nationwide protests in solidarity with the Ordnance Factory Board workers protesting against privatisation of the Defence sector. The trade unions said the Essential Defence Services Ordinance Bill, to be taken up in Parliament next week, is anti Constitutional and warned the Centre of further agitations if it is not withdrawn. The Bill will replace an Ordinance that banned strikes in OFB.

The Opposition has moved statutory motions against the Ordinance in both the Houses of Parliament. These motions will also be taken up for discussion along with the Bill.

Also read:Government introduces The Essential Defence Services Bill in Lok Sabha

Three federations and some other associations had given strike notices to the Defence Ministry against the decision to split the OFB into seven corporations. The CTUs said in a statement that several lakhs of workers and employees from formal and informal economy sectors participated in Friday’s protests.

“They also extended support to the demands of the ongoing Kisan Sansad at Jantar Mantar, near Parliament. The CTUs note with concern that, simultaneously, a substantial part of the defence related production is being outsourced to private sector, both indigenous and foreign, permitting 100 per cent FDI. All these measures are going to severely weaken the indigenous production network of all basic requirements of the defence forces, much to the detriment of national interests,” the CTUs said.

The Defence Employees Federations had demanded withdrawal of the Essential Defence Service Ordinance. The CTUs said the Ordinance is meant to brutally suppress the rising discontent and anger among the Defence Production employees against these anti-national policies.

“The Ordinance bans the right to strike in defence production sector. It has various draconian penal provisions extending even beyond strike, to all kinds of collective democratic protests. It empowers the Centre to extend those brutal autocratic measures to other sectors as well,” the CTUs said.

Published on July 23, 2021

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