AITUC supports ordnance factory workers' strike

The 1,21,000 defence employees of 41 ordnance factories (put) down their tools to fight back Modi Government's plan to corporatise them. (DH Photo)

All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) on Tuesday said it supports 1.21 lakh defense sector employees of 41 ordnance factories, who are protesting against their corporatization.

"The 1,21,000 defense employees of 41 ordnance factories (put) down their tools to fight back the Modi Government's plan to corporatize them. AITUC congratulates them and their unions for their exemplary unity," an AITUC statement said.

All industrial, non-industrial (clerical, office staff), junior officers, charge hands have walked out of 41 ordnance factories (OF) as declared almost a month back, against the government's plans to corporatize and then to privatize them, the statement added.

The union said that this move of the government will put national security at risk and hence is anti-national.

The government wants these 41 Indian ordnance factories to produce Rs 30,000 crore worth of goods by 2024. The unions have accepted the challenge, but want the government to assure them that the plans to corporatize the ordnance factories will be shelved, AITUC added.

The workmen in essential services like fire-fighting, water, and electric supply, hospitals in the OF colonies have also struck down work, but are now back, manning those services voluntarily, foregoing the salaries for the days of strikes, it said.

This strike has been peaceful, except in West Bengal, where the oldest ordnance factories are situated. There are reports that the police have lathi-charged on the striking workers, injuring scores of them and the union condemns this unprovoked police barbarity, the union added.

AITUC urged the government to pay heed to the voice of these soldiers behind the lines, who have not struck for any of their immediate demands but for guaranteeing supply lines to our Army. The government's plans of the corporatization of ordnance factories will jeopardize just that guarantee, it said. 

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