Bill passed to ban strike, lockout, layoffs in defense companies


New Delhi (Lok Sabha). The Essential Defense Services Bill, 2021, in which provisions have been made to ban strike, lockout and retrenchment of civilian employees in units attached to defense services, was today passed in the Lok Sabha amidst uproar and opposition from the opposition.

After two adjournments, members of opposition parties like Congress, Trinamool Congress, Left, Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party, Shiromani Akali Dal etc. came in the middle of the house and raised slogans about Pegasus spying scandal, farmers' problems and inflation. started doing.

Speaker Om Birla urged the members to sit in their seats and let the proceedings of the House continue. He would give every member full opportunity to speak but the noise did not stop. At the behest of the Speaker, Minister of State for Defense Ajay Bhatt introduced the Essential Defense Services Bill 2021 for discussion and passing in the House. Defense Minister Rajnath Singh was present on the occasion.

Bhatt assured the House about the bill that no labor rights and facilities have been violated in it. In view of the situation in the northern borders of the country, after giving notice to the employees to go on strike in protest against corporatization in seven defense undertakings, the government had to bring an ordinance in June as a precaution and this bill has been brought in its place, which only then It will be used only when such a situation arises. Keeping in mind the defense and security of the country, this bill has been brought because no one would like that there should be any disruption in the supply of ammunition, arms and other equipment on the borders of the country.

He said that due to the repeal of the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA), there was a need to bring this bill. He said that this ordinance or bill would not have been needed if the employees did not give notice of the strike. He assured the House that there is no threat to anyone's democratic rights with this bill.

Amidst the uproar, Revolutionary Socialist Party's NK Premachandran while moving the amendment motion on this bill said that this bill violates the democratic rights of about 84,000 civilian employees in defense units and the conditions of International Labor Organization (ILO). He strongly opposed the government's attempt to get such an important bill passed amid the uproar and said that this method is not proper at all. The government should not pass it.


Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury described the bill as a cruel law and said that it is a bill that throttles the democratic rights of the employees. He said that this is trampling the interests of the employees. He said that we want to discuss every issue and also want it to start with the discussion on Pegasus espionage case. But in the event of this uproar, this bill should not be passed.

Trinamool Congress Prof. Saugata Roy also opposed it, calling it an anti-democratic and anti-labour bill. BSP leader Kunwar Danish Ali also raised slogans against the bill.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said that the Bill has been brought in after amicable talks with the representatives of the Ordnance Factory Board employees' union. It will be effective only when it is needed and it has been made keeping in mind the security needs of the country for one year.

Speaker Birla completed the process of passing the bill in the midst of the uproar and after the passage of the bill again appealed to the opposition members to sit in their places and participate in the discussion, but the proceedings of the house continued at four o'clock. postponed till

Under this Bill, undertakings manufacturing goods or equipment necessary for defense purposes, the Armed Forces or any department connected therewith, any defense-related organization whose services may stop the security of the said Department or their employees, manufacture of defense equipment or articles, affecting the operation or maintenance of such units or the repair or maintenance of defense related products. The government may impose restrictions on strikes, lockouts and layoffs in the units connected with the above services. The ban orders will remain in force for six months and can be extended for another six months.

Employers who contravene the order of restriction by way of unlawful lockout or retrenchment shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to Rs 10,000, or with both. Whoever commits the act of instigating, abetting or continuing illegal strikes, or providing funds for such purposes shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to Rs 15,000, or with both. can. In addition, disciplinary action can be taken against such employee. This action includes dismissal from the job in accordance with the terms of service. All offenses under the Bill are cognizable and non-bailable.


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