There can be no worse time, if defence federations are to believe, to consider corporatisation of the 219 years old ordnance factories and its listing on the stock market – a move that has always drawn flak from its 82,000-strong workforce, anyway.
The country is reeling under two pressures: fighting against the COVID-19 spread and tackling the reported Chinese incursions in Ladakh. And, both warrant sufficient inventory count of strategic items. In ensuring adequate supply, the 41 ordnance factories – engaged in defence equipment production – across the country play a crucial role.
Converting these factories into a public sector enterprise – as part of the Centre’s campaign for self-reliance – will jeopardise nation’s preparations on both the fronts, defence federations have alleged.
Considering the same, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, through a letter dated June 22, have been asked to withdraw the proposed corporatisation move failing which, the employees will strike work for an “indefinite” period.
“More than 99% of the employees who participated in the Strike Ballot have voted in favour of the strike. The Federations have decided to fix the date of commencement of Indefinite Strike after 2nd week of July 2020,” said the letter, signed by all three recognised defence federations, namely, All India Defence Employees’ Federation (AIDEF), Indian National Defence Workers’ Federation (INDWF) and even the RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Pratiraksha Mazdoor Sangh (BPMS).