The Chinese general manager and controller of the factory are also being held.
Table of Contents:
- China Factory Workers Hold US Boss over Wage Dispute
- Upbeat Despite Constraints
BEIJING -- An American factory boss in China held hostage for five days by workers said on AFP Tuesday he won't be released until a labor dispute is resolved and that authorities have declined to intervene.
Chip Starnes, who had come from the U.S.-based Specialty Medical Supplies company to lay off 30 employees, said the remaining 100 then barred him from leaving until they reached a resolution.
Incidents of workers detaining bosses are not frequently reported, but labor disputes are common in China, with many workers fearing bosses will shut operations and disappear without paying wages.
"They adamantly said, I'm here to stay, live in my office and live on the cot until this gets done," Starnes said by phone.
"And they said that my office is very nice so I have nothing to complain about."
Starnes said dozens of employees were guarding the exits of the work site, located in the northern Beijing district of Huairou.
Meanwhile local authorities were providing three meals a day and made sure no violence broke out. But, Starnes said, officials won't intervene.
"The police? They will not get involved in this whatsoever."
The district police could not be reached for comment.
A photographer at the scene said there were eight unmarked police cars and uniformed police officers.
A dozen people were standing inside the grounds, set in an industrial park with several other factories, but no workers were available to be interviewed.