Telstra is reportedly pulling its VTech fixed phones off the shelves today after a report into the factory where the devices are made revealed allegedly appalling working conditions.
The Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights described the factory, situated in China’s Guandong Province, as a “brutal sweatshop” yesterday according to the Australia Network.
Telstra has a contract with VTech to provide fixed-line phones to customers.
The conditions were so bad that the institute recommended Telstra fly out to see the conditions for themselves, before presumably dumping the manufacturer.
Today, Current reports that Telstra has pulled the trigger on VTech, ordering staff to pull phones from shelves.
VTech will reportedly be making a statement shortly.
Update: VTech has made that statement:
VTech Holdings Ltd today responded to certain allegations made by the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights regarding operations of its factories in mainland China. The Group categorically rejects these allegations and is now considering taking appropriate legal action.
VTech is a responsible and caring employer wherever it has operations, and this includes mainland China. The Group and its subsidiaries abide strictly by the legal requirements relating to employment in all jurisdictions where it operates, including mainland China. Emphasis is placed on people-oriented management to ensure harmonious staff relations, especially in the Group’s manufacturing facilities. VTech takes care to ensure that the work environment is safe and that employees are adequately housed and cared for.
VTech is widely acknowledged for its excellent human resources management and has a long track record of good labour relations in mainland China, where it is a pioneer among Hong Kong companies in establishing operations and where it currently employs approximately 33,000 people.