Ordnance units’ employees disappointed at news of Dussehra bonus being denied this year
The employees blamed the insensitivity of the Modi govt and the officials of the seven corporations set up by it for the failure to send a proposal for the same
Thousands of employees of ordnance units across the country have been left disappointed after learning that they may not get the usual 40-day bonus package on the occasion of the Dussehra festival celebrations this year.
There are 78,000-odd people working in 41 ordnance factories units in the country, managed by seven State-owned corporations which were set up last year by the Modi government.
As per sources, a delegation of the employees met defence minister Rajnath Singh regarding the issue last month. However, according to a source present in the meeting, he merely paid lip service to their request for his intervention.
Sunil Tyagi, who works at Murad Nagar ordnance factory, said, “It is disappointing to learn that we may not get bonus this year…For the people like me, even a small amount matters.”
He said the move to corporatise the ordnance units was being behind the “ill-treatment being meted out to the old employees by the new management”.
“Previous governments were sensitive towards our problems, but not this government…Blatant corporatisation is not going to increase efficiency. If the employees are not happy, how will the efficiency increase?” he said.
“The government should be mindful of our needs. The inflation is killing us, everything from kitchen oil to school fee to health insurance has become costlier. We are the backbone of the defence production…” he added.
C Srikumar, general secretary of the employees’ union AIDEFC, said that a meeting between the representatives of the employees and additional secretary in the Department of Defence Production (DDP) too failed to get the issue resolved.
“The corporations flatly told the employees that the bonus is not their baby, and they will not send a proposal for the same,” he alleged.
Officially, the corporations have said that the proposal for the bonus could not be processed because the ‘performance report’ had not been prepared.
“They (bureaucrats) took appreciation letters from the Raksha Mantri for their ill-conceived decisions and vanished. Now only the employees are suffering from the move to corporatise the ordnance units,” Srikumar said.
When asked about the options before the employees if they don’t get the bonus amount, he said that they could go on a strike. “This will be the last resort…” he, however, hastened to clarify.
Letters written by the employees to the DDP regarding the matter too failed to elicit any response.
It may be recalled that around the same time last year, PM Narendra Modi had dedicated the seven new defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs) to the nation, which were carved out of the erstwhile OFB. Notably, the move coincided with the celebration of the Dussehra festival.