Taking a "very serious note" of the Central Government's "autocratic and arbitrary" decision to convert the Ordnance Factory Board with 41 production units into seven corporations, the three main federations of defence civilian employees at its joint meeting on Sunday decided to commence indefinite strike from July 19.

Representatives of All India Defence Employees' Federation, Indian National Defence Workers' Federation, and Bharatiya Pratiraksha Mazdoor Sangh, expressed serious concern over what they termed as "violation" of all previous written assurances and commitment given to the federations by the Government that the ordnance factories will not be corporatized.

In the absence of the three major federations, the Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) had "hastily" concluded the conciliation proceedings and recorded a failure report on June 15, which enabled the Cabinet to take its decision on the issue, C Srikumar, General Secretary of All India Defence Employees Federation said.

Viable and robust proposals given by the federations as desired by the Secretary of Defence Production for continuance of ordnance factories as government organisations have been ignored by the Central Government.

The government's decision on corporatisation will jeopardise survival of a majority of ordnance factories, and cause serious repercussions on service matters of employees, their job security, wage protection and terminal benefits.

While discussing the possibility for legal actions in consultation with senior lawyers, they decided to serve the notice for indefinite strike on July 1, and to inform the government about their decision to go on indefinite strike on June 23, Mr. Srikumar said.