India’s 41 ordnance factories come to grinding halt as its 80,000 workers go on strike

Ordnance factory workers staging a demonstration at TrichyBCCL
  • The workers began a month-long strike on Tuesday.
  • They are protesting against the government’s move to corporatise ordnance factories.
  • Production has stalled completely since the strike began.
Ordnance factory workers in India began a month long strike on Tuesday. The workers are protesting against the government’s move to corporatise the factories which produce defence equipment.

The Indian government had decided to convert the ordnance factory, which is currently government-owned into a corporation or a PSU. This enraged its 80,000 workers across 41 ordnance factories.

The Indian Ordnance Factories organisation - a family of 41 ordnance factories – is into defence production including production, testing, logistics, research, development and marketing of a comprehensive product range of land, sea and air systems.

As the month-long strike began, representatives from the three trade trade unions — the Bharatiya Pratiraksha Mazdoor Sangh, the Indian National Defence Workers Federation, and the All India Defence Employees Federation – released a joint statement.

“The strike has commenced at 6 am and the entire workforce are staying away from work, resulting in scaling down of the defence production to zero level. Strike was a total success in Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh (Jabalpur, Katni), Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Chandigarh, where the ordnance factories are located. The strike was a total success at ordnance factory board headquarters, Kolkata,” the statement said.

The Indian government will also set up a high-level committee to draw a roadmap for the ordnance factories and analyse the turning of it into a public sector unit.
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