The six-day standoff between Chip Starnes, the CEO of a Florida-based company and its Chinese employees, which led to workers holding him captive at one of its factories near Beijing ended Thursday, as a deal was reached between the company and the disgruntled employees.
Starnes, the 42-year-old head of Specialty Medical Supplies told Associated Press Thursday, that an agreement was made with about 100 employees who demanded severance packages comparable to some veteran workers who had recently been laid off, even though the company said other workers would not be laid off.
"We have transferred our funds from the U.S.," Starnes said by phone Thursday, AP reported. "I am basically free to go when the funds hit the account here of the company."
Starnes, who said he was forced to agree to the workers' demands after his confinement in a portion of the plant, did not reveal the amount of compensation being paid to the workers.
During his confinement, Starnes communicated to the media through a barricaded window in his office and had said the workers were insulting him, and depriving him of sleep by making loud noises and flashing bright lights in to his office.
Continue Reading Below
The employees had detained Starnes demanding a portion of their unpaid salaries and a generous severance package, after hearing rumors that the company would close down its operations in China and move to Mumbai, India.
The employees said they believed that the factory was being closed down as they saw equipment and machinery being packed up, and alleged that they were worried the company would move out without paying their dues or providing compensation to the remaining workers.
Starnes said the company will continue its business in China and that he may retain some of the workers who held him hostage, according to the AP report.
The stand-off began when Starnes traveled to the company's factory to lay off workers from its plastics division, which will be relocated to Mumbai. According to media reports, incidents of workers holding employers captive for better compensation are not uncommon in China, and the police do not usually intervene in such disputes.