Railways sector

Promoting safe and sustainable railways through social dialogue

An ILO sub-regional tripartite workshop focused on advancing social dialogue in the railways sector; a sector crucial to supply chains and mobility

News | 24 August 2023

Geneva - (ILO News) – Lusaka (ILO News) – The ILO County Office Lusaka (CO-Lusaka) and the Sectoral Policies Department (SECTOR) organized a sub-regional tripartite workshop to exchange best practices and experiences on promoting a safe and sustainable railways sector through social dialogue. The tripartite constituents adopted a set of building blocks for the development of national and regional action plans.

The training Workshop took place in Livingstone, Zambia, from 22 to 24 August 2023, and brought together 20 representatives of governments, workers and employers from 6 countries (Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe) as well as 18 observers. Taking as a basis the Manual on social dialogue in the railways sector, participatory approaches supported interactive tripartite social dialogue training and sharing of good practices.

Over two and half days, participants from the countries represented at the meeting shared knowledge and good practices on effective social dialogue in the railways sector. The sector plays a critical role in driving economic growth and development in Southern African countries, to developing sustainable supply chains, energy transition policies and ensuring passenger mobility. It is also a major employer in some countries and as such can be paramount to social justice and decent work.

During their discussions, participants highlighted that social and labour protection, training and skills, financing, recapitalization and policy coherence remain a priority for the sector’s sustainability and safety. In the wake of structural change in ownership and operations, transparency and effective consultation help in ensuring social justice and decent work in the railways sector.