Victory for Ordnance Factory Workers


80,000 workers of the Ordnance Factories who had been on a one-month strike since 20 August 2019 called off their strike on the 6th day after the BJP government bowed under pressure and withdrew the decision of corporatization and privatisation of the Ordnance Factories. Thus the workers forced the government, drunk with power based on brute majority in Parliamentarian, to surrender.

Following the Ordnance Factory strike, labour leaders held talks with the government after which the strike was called off with effect from 6 am on the morning of 26 August 2019; therefore, the program scheduled for 27 August 2019 has been called off.

Workers from Ordnance Factories across the country were on a one-month strike since 20 August 2019. The decision for the hartal was taken through a strike ballot, in which more than 75% of the workers voted in favour of the strike. The workers’ unity was so strong that even the RSS-affiliate trade union BMS had to join in the strike.

The strike resulted in a resounding victory for the workers. The government representative (Defence Secretary) was forced to give in writing that there has so far been no decision taken to change the Ordnance Factory Board into a corporate, and the government will form a high level committee to go into the issues raised by the unions. After this written assurance it was announced that the strike was called off. All the workers would return to work at 6 am on the morning of 26 August 2019.

The intention of the Modi government was to sneak in through the back door and change this 218-year old institution into a corporate so that the road to privatisation in the future would be made easier. But the workers’ unity has given a decisive defeat to this cunning intention. In future also, the workers will keep a sharp eye on such ploys by these tricksters.

The ‘majority’ inside Parliament can be pushed back and its autocracy can be reined in by the majority arising from people’s struggles on the street. By implementing this in action, the Defence sector workers have shown the road for the future. The working class is firm and ready to fight. They have studied the present challenges, strengthened their fortifications, and are ready for a decisive series of struggles.