Ordnance factory unions welcome Rajnath Singh’s import embargo, seek production rights

Union defence minister Rajnath Singh’s August 9 announcement that India will no longer import 101 types of weapons and equipment to boost the Make in India programme has been welcomed by ordnance factory workers’ unions although they are all set to strike work from October.

More than 80,000 civilian employees of India’s 41 ordnance factories will go on indefinite strike from October 12 in protest against the Centre’s decision to corporatise weapon and defence equipment manufacturing units run by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) of the Union defence ministry.

The announcement was made on August 4 by the three national trade unions, including the Bharatiya Pratiraksha Mazdoor Sangh (BPMS) which is affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological parent of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The other two unions, the All India Defence Employees’ Federation (AIDEF) and the Indian National Defence Workers’ Federation (INDWF) are affiliated to the Communist Party of India and the Congress respectively.

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