After 1st meet with panel, ordnance workers mull strike again
Employees' federations representing more than 80,000 ordnance workers in India are considering going on a strike again after their first meeting with the high level official committee appointed by the Centre, on September 30.
The TOI had reported last week that the federations were opposed to the terms of references set for the committee, which was to indulge in continuous dialogue with the workers regarding the government's proposal to corporatise the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and the factories under it.
The ministry of defence (MoD), determined to corporatise OFB and factories under it, in the first term of reference set for the said panel, has pre-concluded that the factories would be corporatised and that the panel would look at issues the workers might have in the new structure.
"We have been very clear from the beginning, even when we went on strike, that we don't support corporatisation. If we agree to the first term, it is as good as agreeing with the move to corporatise OFB. We won't allow that," C Srikumar, general secretary, All India Defence Employees Federation (AIDEF), told TOI after the meeting with the panel.
Employee unions say that they are open to discussing the other terms of reference that deal with "…ways of enhancing OFB's turnover to Rs 30,000 crore; addressing concerns of future orders," and so on.
"If they don't respond positively by Diwali, we may consider going back on strike. We don't understand why we need to be corporatised. We've even offered the committee other suggestions, including looking at a model like Isro or the Railway Board, if at all they want to restructure OFB. We'll also work with them on other issues. If we don't get the right response, we'll have no choice but to strike again," Srikumar added.
More than 80,000 employees from the 41 ordnance factories were on a tools-down strike from August 20, which had brought production to a standstill. They had resumed work from August 26 based on government promise that there will be continuous dialogue before any decisRead More – Source