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Qantas in spotlight over Chinese prison headphones

Qantas in spotlight over Chinese prison headphones

Australian flag-carrier Qantas is launching an investigation after a newspaper laid allegations the disposable headphones it gives to passengers are made by poorly treated Chinese prison inmates.

The Australian Financial Review spoke to former inmates in a Chinese prison who stated prisoners were made to work long hours and were often beaten.

The newspaper added inmates were paid only £0.85 a month.

Emirates and British Airways also received the headphones, according the newspaper.

In response to the allegations Qantas said it was “very concerned” and that it had suspended a supplier while it carried out an investigation.

British Airways said in a statement to the BBC it was committed to ensuring the highest standards in its procurement process - and that only “credited factories” with “ethical codes of practice” were used to produce the headsets.

The Financial Review said all the companies named denied any knowledge of the use of prison labour in their supply chain.

It said that Electrolux and Emerson – producers of the headphones - had also initiated investigations following questions submitted by the newspaper.