CPI demands withdrawal of Essential Defence Services Ordinance 2021

The Ordinance is against the various ILO conventions, the CPI stated.

The Communist Party of India (CPI), Central Office, New Delhi on Thursday stated that the national secretariat of CPI severely condemns the draconian Essential Defence Services Ordinance 2021, promulgated by the Modi government “to crush the democratic rights of the defence civilian workers.”

In this regard, CPI general secretary D Raja has said that the defence civilian workers have been fighting to save the 41 Indian Ordnance Factories from the ill-conceived policy decision of the government to destroy the same by converting them into seven non-viable corporations, stated a release. This has been done at a time when the Modi government has already declared that only four public sector units will remain in the strategic sector, it stated. Defence is one of the strategic sectors where already eight PSUs are functioning, it added.

The release stated that when the seven Ordnance Factories Corporations will be added to the existing eight DPSUs, it will become 15 DPSUs. “Of the 15, which four will remain with the government is not known. Therefore, the picture is clear that all the seven Ordnance Factories Corporations will become sick, making the path clear for the government for their privatisation and sale,” it added.

Smelling this danger, the trade unions of defence civilian employees for the past more than one year are fighting to save the Ordnance Factories and 76,000 employees, it further stated. However, the government has ignored all their proposals and representations, CPI stated. “Even conciliation proceedings have been closed abruptly.  In such a situation the trade unions have decided to use the last weapon of the strike,” it added.

The party notes that it is unfortunate that the Modi government instead of dealing with the dispute under the provisions of ID Act 1947 has chosen the ordinance route to crush the strike by incorporating draconian provisions like dismissal from service without inquiry, arrest and imprisonment up to two years for calling a strike and participating in a strike. This is draconian and against the legal right of the employees, it stated. This ordinance is also against the various ILO conventions, it mentioned.

CPI condemns the draconian EDSO promulgated by the Modi government and urges upon the government to withdraw the same, start negotiations with the trade unions and reach a settlement since the Ordnance Factories are the national assets which cannot be allowed to be closed and sold in the name of corporatisation, it added. 

First Published:July 2, 2021, 12:45 a.m.

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