Florida CEO Chip Starnes Freed After Deal Reached With Chinese Workers At His Specialty Medical Supplies Factory Outside Beijing

on June 27 2013 7:49 AM
Chip Starnes in China
Chip Starnes was finally let go by his Beijing workers after striking a compensation deal. Reuters

Florida CEO Chip Starnes was finally freed on Thursday, after his Chinese employees held him for nearly a week at a factory just outside Beijing, reports AP.  

Starnes told the AP that he struck a deal overnight that provided scores of workers with a severance package, similar to one given to recently laid-off workers from his firm, Specialty Medical Supplies.

Starnes and local labor official Chu Lixiang gave no details about the promised compensation. Chu said all the workers would be terminated, but Starnes said some would eventually be rehired.

“It has been resolved to each side’s satisfaction,” Chu told reporters at the factory.

Workers at the medical-supplies plant in Huairou district had believed their entire factory was slated for closure, after its plastics division shut down and moved off to Mumbai.

Starnes said he was “saddened” by the experience, describing the ordeal as humiliating and embarrassing.

Local police made no efforts to intervene in what they say is a business dispute, but they guarded the plant and said they had guaranteed Starnes' safety.

It isn’t uncommon for Chinese employers or managers to be held by frustrated employees demanding back pay or other benefits.  

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