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Defence Ministry invites OFB federations for talks

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

The Defence Ministry has invited federations representing civilian employees of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) for talks following their notice to go on strike protesting the Centre's corporatisation plan, Defence Production secretary Ajay Kumar said here on Saturday.

Unions representing civilian employees of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) at its various facilities have given a notice for a one-month strike from August 20.

"We have invited them for discussion and I am hopeful that a solution will be reached from the talks," Kumar said after the launch of a fast patrol vessel at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd's Rajabagan dock.

C Srikumar, general secretary of All India Defence Employees Federation (AIDEF), said that they have received an intimation from the ministry that the additional secretary, department of Defence Production, has convened a meeting on August 14 with the three federations.

"No reference has, however, been made of the strike notice in the intimation letter," Srikumar told PTI.

He said that the letter only mentions that the meeting has been called to discuss about the policy decisions taken by the government on Ordnance factories.

He said that the ministry has invited all the three federations for the talks.

The three federations, in a joint strike notice served to the Defence secretary, have demanded withdrawal of the Centre's decision to corporatise the ordnance factories.

Apart from AIDEF, general secretaries of Indian National Defence Workers Federation (INDWF) and Bharatiya Pratiraksha Mazdoor Sangh (BPMS) are signatories to the notice, which was served after the unions had taken a strike ballot on July 30.

"More than 75 per cent of the members voted there and three-fourth of the votes cast were in favour of the one-month strike," the notice said.

There are 41 factories under the OFB, across the country, engaged in various defence productions.

Various committees constituted by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) have suggested the corporatisation of the OFB, which has its headquarters in Kolkata, to enable it to function under its own board of directors.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, August 10 2019. 16:45 IST