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Major Chinese supplier of Australian train parts blacklisted by US denies allegations of using forced labour

Author: The Guardian (UK), Published on: 29 July 2020

“Chinese supplier of Australian train parts accused of using Uighur labour vows to fight US blacklisting”, 28 July 2020

… the KTK Group, which has extensive operations in Australia, was one of 11 companies added to a US blacklist over the alleged use of forced Uighur labour in China…

KTK, which provides interior fittings for trains, is a major supplier to state government transport departments, working with the New South Wales government on the Sydney metro and new intercity fleet projects, Victoria on the X’Trapolis and high capacity metro train projects, and Queensland on its $4.4bn next generation rolling stock fleet project.

Following the announcement, Queensland’s transport minister Mark Bailey asked his department to urgently review whether parts manufactured by KTK overseas and installed in the state’s new trains involved any forced labour, and urged Qtectic, the consortium responsible for maintenance, to find alternate suppliers…

Victoria’s transport department said it has asked its manufacturers to “take additional steps to ensure the integrity of their supply chains”, but had received assurances from KTK that no forced labour had been used.

KTK has stridently denied the allegations, saying it was added to the blacklist in the absence of any proof.

It says it has never employed any Uighurs in any part of its supply chain.

A spokeswoman said it had also engaged lawyers in the US to fight the government’s decision to blacklist it…

“KTK Group has never been involved in the employment of any forced labour and the company has never employed any people of Uyghur ethnicity,” the spokeswoman said…

Read the full post here