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4 lakh ordnance factory staff to go on strike from January 23

Nearly four lakh defence civilian employees working in 41 ordinance factories and other production units in the country will go on a three-day strike from January 23 to 25 to protest against the Narandra Modi Government’s decision to allow 100% private participation in defence production.

All India Defence Employees Federation (AIDEF) General Secretary C. Srikumar pointed out that the government plans to hand over the products manufactured in these factories to corporate houses. He said that former union minister Sharad Pawar has assured support.

The AIDEF has also called for scrapping of new pension scheme and restoring the old one. The AIDEF represents ordnance factories, 52 DRDO labs and various armed forces establishments.

Over 200 items have been declared non-core and they include tents, parachutes and other items and their production will be outsourced.

Trade unions have already made multiple appeals to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and former Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, but nothing came of it.

In 2016, Shekatkar committee report made 120 recommendations out of which one was to shut the Army Postal establishments in peace locations. Srikumar also reiterated that handing over complete control of corporates would be risky. "Only government can maintain defence industries during war and peace time. Handing over the work already performed by ordinance factories to private players will make the government industries sick," he maintained.

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