The following statement was issued by the joint platform of Central Trade Unions in solidarity support to the Defence civilian employees on 02nd July 2021
CENTRAL TRADE UNIONS CONDEMN THE DRACONIAN
ESSENTIAL DEFENCE SERVICES ORDINANCE 2021
PROMULGATED BY THE MODI GOVERNMENT
EXPRESSES SOLIDARITY SUPPORT TO THE STRUGGLE
OF DEFENCE CIVILIANS IN THE NATIONAL INTEREST
Against the anti national decision to splinter the pioneer Defence Industry viz the 220 years old Indian Ordnance Factories under the Ministry of Defence into 7 non viable corporations and then to privatise the same taken by the Modi Government , the five Federations of Defence Civilian Employees since all the efforts taken by them to withdraw the decision taken in violation of all the previous agreements and settlements failed they had decided to proceed with an indefinite strike which was to commence from 26-7-2021 demanding to withdraw the Government decision in the interest of National security, Defence preparedness and the service life of 76,000 employees. The Government has ignored the alternative / robust proposals given by the Federations for continuing the Ordnance Factories with the Government and putting pressure on the CLC to windup the conciliation proceedings in the absence of the 3 major recognised Federations on 15-6-2021 and went ahead and took decision on 16-6-2021 to slice the Ordnance Factories into 7 pieces. It is now more than 2 weeks after the CLC submitted the failure report to the Government. The Government has not bothered even to refer the disputes raised by the Federations for adjudication.
The Government in the most cowardly manner, instead of commencing dialogue with the Federations for a negotiated settlement has acted in a draconian and brutal manner by deployment of state power against its own employees. We condemn the arrogance and highhandedness of the Government at centre The EDSO promulgated by the President of India prohibits strikes in essential Defence services which includes Defence production, repair and maintenance of products connected with Defence. The strike in Defence is declared as illegal and includes draconian provisions like dismissal from service without even an inquiry, arrest and imprisonment for a term which may be extended to one year or with fine which may extend to 10,000 Rupees or with both. In the name of instigation of strike any person shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years or with fine which may extend to 15,000 Rupees or with both.
The most draconian law which post independence has witnessed in this country. The Central Trade Unions terms this EDSO as draconian, brutal, retrograde, undemocratic anti worker and is not acceptable to the working class of this country. The Central Trade Unions urges upon the Government of India to immediately withdraw its decision since it takes away the legal rights of an employee to participate in a strike under the Industrial Dispute Act 1947 after following all the procedures laid down in the Act. The five federations in the Defence sector met on first july in the background of new development and adopted resolution and decided to observe 8th july 2021, the day they were to serve strike notice, as Nationwide protest day as Black Day. They have also decided to legal course including to approach ILO.
The Central Trade Unions call upon the entire working class of the country to stand up and protest against this unprecedented action of the Modi Government and leaving to the mercy of the Government the status of the 76,000 employees of the 41 Ordnance Factories who were recruited as Defence Civilian Employees / Central Government Employees under Article 309 of the Constitution of India. The joint platform of Central Trade Unions stands in solidarity with the Defence workers and extends support to their action programmes to save the sensitive defence industry and its work force in the national interest.