Key points of the speech of Shri S.N. Pathak, President, All India Defence Employees Federation (AIDEF) at the AIFAP monthly meeting on 7 November 2021
Government has corporatized the ordnance factories. We have also been disallowed from striking or protesting by EDSA (Essential Defence Services Act). The punishment for taking part in a strike is 1 year imprisonment. For those who help to organise the strike, the punishment is 2 years imprisonment. We have challenged the EDSA in Delhi High Court and we have also challenged the move to corporatize in Chennai High Court.
In the ordnance factories, the 3 year contract has been changed to 2 years. We are keeping a watch. Ordnance factory corporations have been made so that they can be sold.
Monetisation means leasing of public assets for 40–50 years—in what condition will capitalists return us the assets? It is not a matter of lease of 30–40 years, it amounts to permanent sale. Their patriotism is fake. They are selling the country.
We are spreading awareness about their anti-worker, anti-people policies. But, the government will only listen when their position is threatened. Why can’t we tell workers not to vote for this government. Farmers have done this. The government won’t listen otherwise.
The workers of the country should be awakened to vote out the government. The government pays no heed to trade unions, I am telling from my years of experience. We have to show that workers have the power to remove them from power.
You will understand when they stop you from striking. We have to fight the government politically. I salute the farmers for their struggle and for showing us the way.
We should do a 2 to 5-day strike of trade unions but that will not affect the government. People have died in the pandemic – migrants, people in need of oxygen, but the government did not care.
I don’t want to dishearten/discourage our work. But we have to vote out the government.
Whatever support is required from us, we will give. We have always supported all trade unions. I request everyone’s support, I thank Pandeyji for his support.