The National Secretariat of the Communist Party of India has extended its full support and solidarity to the three-day strike from 23rd January to 25th January 2019 called jointly by the three Defence Civilian Employees Federations representing four lakh defence civilian employees working in ordnance factories, research units, naval dockyards, workshops and depots under Army, Navy and Air Force and also the Military Engineer Services.
According to CPI, the strike is to protest against the most dangerous steps taken by the government to dismantle the defence industries developed over a period of time after Independence to achieve self-reliance. ‘Make in India’ slogan has been made a mockery by the government by withdrawing more than 275 items being manufactured in the ordnance factories for the past more than five decades with modification and advancement and has decided to hand over the same to the private corporates in the same as ‘Make in India’.
The technology developed by defence laboratories are being handed over to private sector. The Army Base Workshops which play a vital role in overhauling and repairing defence equipments including imported ones are being handed over to private sector in the name of Government Owned Contractor Operated (GOCO) model. It should be noted here that in a reply given to Parliament, the Defence Minister has stated that all the Army Workshops will be closed within a year. Even the military farms which had been supplying pure milk to the jawans are closed.
In a statement, the CPI said the Narendra Modi government is playing with the defence and security of our country. The conspiracy to make the Indian Army dependant on foreign multinationals and Indian private corporates is a very serious matter. It is not an issue of the defence employees alone. All patriotic citizens have to oppose this dangerous move of the present government.
The defence civilian employees are also fighting to scrap the New Pension System and to re-introduce the Guaranteed Pension Scheme. The CPI called upon the working people of the country to join hands with the defence civilian employees and to protest against the above retrograde policies which are going to have a serious impact on the defence preparedness of our country.