By Patrick Avenell
Telstra’s hardline approach to improper labour conditions is directly responsible for the de-ranging of VTech manufactured, Telstra-branded phone handsets, internal documents reveal.
In a letter sent to dealers this morning, Telstra directly linked its previous instructions to remove VTech stock from shelves to the allegations of appalling working conditions at VTech factories.
“A story published in the media today, Thursday 21 June 2012, alleges one of our suppliers, VTech, carries out illegal work practices at its Chinese factory,” reads the Telstra letter.
“VTech is a supplier of fixed line phones to companies including Telstra.
“Telstra is deeply concerned by the reports. Compliance with the law is mandatory for all our suppliers and labour misuse is totally unacceptable to us.
“As a result of this story, Telstra-branded stores have now temporarily suspended sales and rentals of VTech products across Telstra.
“During this time, Telstra will offer customers who would like to purchase outright or rent an alternative handset.”
Earlier today, VTech Australia managing director Mark Franklin denied ever seeing anything improper or untoward at VTech factories.
"I've been to VTech as an employee, and as a customer when at Ingram Micro and Pacific Tech, and I've never witnessed anything similar to what the allegations suggest," he told Current.com.au.