Civilian defence workers to join September 2 strike-AIDEF Gen Secy C SRIKUMAR

MUMBAI: The civilian workforce of 41 defence ordnance factories, 52 DRDO labs, naval dockyards, military engineering services as well as defence workshops and depots, have extended their support for the September 2 national strike.

However, the RSS-affiliated trade union Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, which is one of the largest trade unions, pulled out of the nationwide strike on Saturday and pressed for a review of the strike call as well as to give the government six months to deliver on its assurances.

"The All-India Defence Employees' Federation and its affiliated unions have already served a strike notice to the government on August 14 and we will join the September 2 national strike," All-India Defence Employees' Federation general secretary C Srikumar said in a statement here today.

The demands civilian defence employees' demands are withdrawal of 49 per cent FDI in defence production and research, withdrawal of the government decision to privatise defence production, withdrawal of the National Pension Scheme rolled out since January 1, 2004, as well as withdrawal of arbitrary revision of labour laws, among others.

They are also opposed to regularisation of contract as well as casual labourers in the government sector in general, especially in the defence segment, regular functioning of the joint consultative machinery of central government employees, and implementation of court judgments in service matters, Srikumar said.

The federation has appealed to unions to participate en masse in the forthcoming day-long strike to protest against planned labour reforms by the Modi government and also against the privatisation of defence production, research and other activities, he said.

Meanwhile, ten other central trade unions said that the BMS' "political" decision would have minimal impact on the planned strike.

While 11 central trade unions had given a strike call to protest against proposed changes in various labour laws, the BMS decided to pull out on Saturday and favoured giving more time to the government in the wake of assurances given during a meeting with a group of senior ministers.

The unions said in a joint statement that nothing transpired in concrete terms after their leaders met the group of ministers headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley last week.


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