India tries to avert Ordnance Factory workers strike

File Photo: An artillery gun manufactured by the Ordnance Factory on display at a show.

New Delhi: India is trying to prevent its 164,000 employees of its 41 ordnance factories that manufacture weapons for its 1.4-million armed forces from going on a strike from August 20.

The labour unions of the 41 ordnance factories had issued a notice to the Ordnance Factory Board under the Ministry of Defence‘s Department of Defence Production that they would be on a strike pressing for their demands against corporatisation of the factories and for improved work conditions.

A Ministry of Defence statement said a team of senior officials led by Additional Secretary of the Department of Defence Production, along with Chairman Ordinance Factory Board, met the office bearers of the labour unions to persuade them to not to press on with their strike call.

The unions that participated in the meeting include All India Defence Employees Federation, Indian National Defence Workers Federation, Bhartiya Pratiksha Mazdoor Sangh and Confederation of Defence Recognized Association.

“The meeting lasted for nearly two hours in which both parties constructively engaged themselves in a candid and open discussion of each other’s’ viewpoint. It was decided to keep the process of dialogue open to arrive at a mutual understanding,” the statement said.

The strike could potentially cripple the armed forces if the delivery of its arms and ammunition, apart from military vehicles and guns, are delayed by a few months.

It could also adversely affect India’s economy, which is also reeling under a downturn, even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a target of India becoming a $5-trillion economy by 2024.

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