The Narendra Modi government has passed an ordinance on Wednesday (30 June) prohibiting strikes by those engaged in essential defence services.
The move comes after the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) threatened to go on an indefinite strike to protest against the government's move to corporatise the 246-year-old organisation.
Federations and unions representing about 80,000 employees of the OFB have decided to start the agitation against corporatisation on July 26.
Last month, the Union cabinet has cleared the proposal to restructure the OFB into seven separate corporate entities on the lines of the nine existing defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs) in the country.
Under this plan, the 41 units currently functional under the OFB will be subsumed under one or the other of the seven new companies.
Each of the seven entities that will emerge will be responsible for a separate sector — ammunition and explosives, vehicles, weapons and equipment, troop comfort items, opto-electronics gear, parachutes and ancillary products.
In 2019, when the government announced its proposal to corporatise the OFB, the organisation had used strikes to scuttle the plan.
In July last year, at the peak of the crisis in eastern Ladakh, three employees’ federations of the OFB were threatening to go on an indefinite strike. The proposed strike was called off only in October, over a month after they were proposed.
The ordinance issued by the government on 30 June will be replaced by a bill in the monsoon session of Parliament this year.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.