BEIJING (AP) — An American executive held in his Beijing medical supply plant by angry workers says he's waiting for his lawyers to arrive to resolve a compensation dispute that highlights tensions in China's labor market.
Chip Starnes was enduring a fifth day of captivity Tuesday at the factory that makes products for Coral Springs, Florida-based Specialty Medical Supplies.
About 100 workers are demanding generous severance packages identical to those offered 30 workers being laid-off from the company's plastics division. The demands followed rumors the entire plant was being closed, despite Starnes' assertion the company doesn't plan to fire the others.
Union official Chu Lixiang said the workers were demanding unpaid salary and "fair or reasonable" compensation. Securing severance is a primary concern among workers often left unprotected when factories close.