CITU Salutes the Defence Employees for their Historic 30 Days’ Strike

Centre of Indian Trade Unions salutes the over 82000 defence civilian employees working in the 41 ordnance factories across the country and the employees of the Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) attached to the ordnance factories who have started their historic 30 days’ strike against corporatisation of the ordnance factories .

Despite the categorical assurance by the defence ministers in successive governments and in the Parliament in March 2015, during the Modi 1 regime, that ordnance factories would not be corporatised, the Modi 2 government has decided to corporatise the ordnance factories, on way to their future privatisation.

It is ironic that the BJP and Modi who campaigned on the plank of ‘nationalism’ have no qualms in placing our national security at the mercy of the profit greedy corporates including foreign companies by privatising the defence sector including allowing 100% FDI. The ordnance factories, treated as the 4th force of defence of India have played a crucial role in ensuring timely and quality supplies to our forces, including during the Kargil war and the surgical strikes undertaken by the Indian army on various occasions.  They have worked day and night during the Kargil war to ensure supplies to our forces, without taking single paisa as overtime. Through their hard work and dedication, it is these workers and employees who have proved their commitment to the nation while the BJP government is trying to mortgage national security.

The strike today was total all over the country. Only the Group A officers and those in essential duties who were exempted, joined work. In many places they were working without signing attendance. Though CDRA (Confederation of Defence Recognised Associations) did not serve strike notice, they totally remained with the striking employees. In many places the central trade unions including CITU cadres have actively supported the strike holding rallies, street corner meetings, demonstrations etc in solidarity with the striking workers. Other trade unions including those of bank employees, central government employees etc also stood in solidarity with the strikers.

By corporatising the ordnance factories paving the way for their privatisation the BJP government has once again proved that corporate interests, not national interests, are at the top of its agenda.

On the other hand, through their total strike across the country, the defence civilian employees in the ordnance factories have warned the government that they would not allow national interests to be sold off to corporates, that it is the workers who would be in the forefront in protecting the nation and the country

CITU, once again, congratulates the defence employees and assures its total support to their struggle till they achieve their just demands. It calls upon all its affiliated unions and federations to extend all types of help, assistance and solidarity to the defence employees. It also calls upon the common people to support the struggle of the defence employees who are fighting to protect the national interests.

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