National

Trade Unions, including BMS, to hold one-month strike at all ordnance factories

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on August 09, 2019 Published on August 09, 2019

C Srikumar, General Secretary, AIDEF   -  The Hindu

The main issue agitating the unions is the Centre’s unilateral decision to ‘corporatise defence factories’

All central trade unions, including the RSS-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), have declared a month-long strike starting August 20 at 41 Ordnance factories across the country.

The main issue agitating the unions is the Centre’s unilateral decision to ‘corporatise defence factories’.

The three trade unions - BMS’s Bharatiya Pratiraksha Mazdoor Sangh, INTUC-backed Indian National Defence Workers Federation and AITUC's All India Defence Employees Federation - alleged that the move to corporatise the factories is a violation of the agreement and assurance given by the government in the past.

The BJP leadership’s efforts to reach out to the BMS leadership have not succeeded so far. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held informal parleys with the BMS, but to no avail.

“The government will be responsible for this strike. Corporatisation is the first step before privatising the ordnance factories. This is against the national interest,” said BPMS general secretary Mukesh Singh. He had met the Defence Minister recently but did not get any assurance, he said.

Prior assurances

AIDEF general secretary C Srikumar told BusinessLine that at least four defence ministers, including late Manohar Parrikar, had given written assurance that the Centre will not corporatise ordnance factories. “It’s a 217-year-old establishment. From 17 factories in 1947, the country has 41 factories now. The demand from Army can change from time to time. So, maintaining ordnance units under the public sector is also important for national security. We have decided to go for an industrial action after a strike ballot which was supported by three-fourth of the 75 per cent workers who participated in it,” he added. The joint strike notice, signed by Sreekumar, Mukesh Singh and INDWF general secretary R Srinivasan has been pinned at all 41 factory gates, the trade union leaders said.

“The government neither bothered to respond to our representation nor invite us for a negotiation. Considering the unhelpful attitude of the Ministry of Defence, we have come to the conclusion that there is no other option other than to observe 30-day strike action demanding that the government withdraw the unilateral decision,” the leaders said in a communication to all their units.

Mukesh Singh added that there will be continuous demonstration/gate meetings/ rallies/ cadre meetings in front of all ordnannce factories on a daily basis, as decided by Joint Action Committee at the level of Factory/Area.

Earlier in January, more than 3.5 lakh defence workers took part in a three-day nation-wide strike calling for ‘nationalisation’ of defence production. The trade unions had termed the strike as a ‘patriotic’ for protecting the defence establishments.

Published on August 09, 2019

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.