Posted by Sombe Longwani

My fellow workers,

On the occasion of the International Workers Day commonly known to us as ‘Labour Day’’ I would like to extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to each and every employee of Zambia Railways for your commitment and dedication to duty.

This Year’s Labour Day is unusual as it has come at a time when our country and indeed the entire world is under Lock-down due to the Corona Virus (COVID 19) Pandemic. The obvious negative outcome of this lockdown is that we have been unable to celebrate Labour Day in our usual manner; there are no colourful match pasts, no award ceremonies and no after parties like before, as people observe social distancing in adherence to guidelines issued by Health Authorities. I share the agony and frustration that you feel, as this robs us of the human interaction and sense of belonging and patriotism that the gatherings epitomize.

But beyond disrupting celebrations, COVID 19 has affected our business adversely, as most of our business sources have had to downsize their operations or close up all together, thereby affecting the supply chain. In other words, it has been difficult to find business during this time!
In spite of these challenges, Zambia Railways has put in a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) that has ensured that our workers do not lose any of the benefits they are entitled to. I am particularly delighted that we have been able to pay salaries (on time) throughout this period despite the huge challenges that we face as a railway industry.
This has only been possible because of the hard work and commitment of each worker in Zambia Railways, supported by the harmonious relationship that exists between Management and the Railway Workers Union of Zambia (RWUZ).

I ask each one of you to summon your inner strength and soldier on with the same spirit as we navigate through these very difficult times.

As your Chief Executive Officer, I remain committed to ensuring that your welfare is given utmost priority. This includes providing a safe working environment with healthy labour relations. Am also proud to note that Zambia Railways is making great strides towards Gender Equality and youth involvement, as evidenced by the increasing number of women and youths taking up senior and decision-making positions. All these, I believe are in line with this year’s Labour Day Theme which is ‘Reducing Developmental Inequalities through Sustainable Job Creation’.

I implore all of you to please keep it up with all your good efforts for the company and remember that your efforts are ultimately contributing to the economic development of our country, and so cannot go unnoticed.

Let’s all remember that our first priority is to ensure that the Corona Pandemic does not paralyse our operations through loss of lives. So please observe all the health measures that we have been given: stay home (whenever you can), wear a face mask when in public, sanitize and observe social distancing.

I am confident that, working together and embracing our core values of Teamwork, Integrity, Innovation, Professionalism and Service (TIIPS), Zambia Railways will survive and continue with its critical role as the wheels of the economy.

Happy Labour Day and May God Bless you all!

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