skip to main content

Indian defence-industry unions vow to fight government strike ban

Defence industry trade unions in India have vowed to fight the government's recent move to illegalise strikes invoked by the workers of the country's largest defence factory network, the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).

The unions said in a joint resolution that they will take legal action and lodge complaints with international labour organisations in a bid to force the government to lift the strike ban, which introduces fines and jail terms for any unauthorised work stoppages at OFB or any other defence-industrial enterprise in the country.

The resolution also calls on defence-industry workers in India to formally protest the new ban on 8 July and indicates that additional protests will be staged in the near future.

β€œThe democratic and legal protest against the state authority misusing state power against its own employees will continue,” stated the resolution, which was signed by five defence-industry trade unions in India that represent several hundred thousand workers.

β€œThe draconian steps taken by the government to suppress and crush the democratic rights of defence civilian employees is retrograde, undemocratic, anti-worker, and totally unacceptable to the trade unions and the entire workforce of the defence industry,” it added.

The unions – comprising the All India Defence Employees Federation, the Indian National Defence Workers Federation, the Indian Defence Workers Union, the National Progressive Defence Employees Federation, and the All India Bahujan Defence Employees Federation – called on the government to withdraw the strike ban and start talks with union representatives about ensuring the future of workers employed by the OFB.

In mid-June, the government announced a plan to restructure the OFB into seven companies, each with an emphasis on a specific defence-industrial capability including ammunition and explosives, vehicles, weapons and equipment, and opto-electronics.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...