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Old 06-25-2013, 08:17 AM
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U.S. exec. Chip Starnes held hostage by factory employees in China for 5th day

BEIJING An American executive held in his Beijing medical supply plant by angry workers said Tuesday that 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 at the factory in the capital's northeastern suburbs that makes products for Coral Springs, Florida-based Specialty Medical Supplies, but he told CBS News correspondent Seth Doane he could probably escape if he wanted to.

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.

CBS News' Doane was allowed into the factory Tuesday morning, where Starnes, 42, told him, he felt he was being held in "a cage like an animal."

Asked by Doane whether he could simply hop over the factory fence and escape, Starnes said he, "could absolutely do that," but felt it "would probably be the wrong impression to give at this point in time."

"There's been no solution in terms of anything between us and them," Starnes told the AP. He said he was waiting for his lawyer to arrive and then would "start to work on some sort of solution to the issue one way or another."

A local union official representing the workers in talks with Starnes, Chu Lixiang, said the workers were demanding the portion of their salaries yet to be paid and a "reasonable" level of compensation before leaving their jobs. Neither gave details on the amounts demanded.

Chu said Starnes hadn't paid the workers for two months. She said they feared the plant was closing and that he would run away without paying severance.

Gao Ping, a six-year employee, told Doane, "We women can't hold the boss hostage... We're negotiating. He didn't pay us wages." She said she hadn't been paid about $400, roughly two months' salary. Others told CBS News the same.

The Chinese people learned that for the French union workers
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:19 AM
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Taking the Boss Hostage? In France, It’s a Labor Tactic
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