June 27, 2013
Chinese Workers Release US Boss After Pay Deal Reached
A U.S. businessman who was held captive by his Chinese employees for nearly a week has been allowed to leave a suburban Beijing factory after the two sides settled a wage dispute.
Chip Starnes, the co-owner of Specialty Medical Supplies, said his company has agreed to give severance packages to about 100 workers who had trapped him in the factory since Friday.
The workers demanded the severance packages after a series of recent lay-offs at the factory led them to believe their own jobs were also in jeopardy, despite Starnes' insistence this was not the case.
The exact details of the settlement were not available, but local labor official Chu Lixiang said the situation has been resolved to each side's satisfaction. Starnes, who was unharmed, was said to be resting at a nearby hotel.
Labor disputes are not uncommon between Chinese employers and workers, who are often left unprotected when factories are shut down.