News Summary: Chinese workers hold US boss captive

Chinese workers holding US executive in factory say 2 months' wages unpaid, but boss denies it

Associated Press

CORNER CELL: Chinese workers keeping an American executive confined to his Beijing medical supply factory said that they had not been paid in two months in a compensation dispute that highlights tensions in China's labor market.

CEO SAYS: The executive, Chip Starnes of Specialty Medical Supplies, denied the workers' allegations as he endured a fifth day of captivity at the plant in the capital's northeastern suburbs, peering out from behind the bars of his office window. "They are demanding full severance pay, but they still have a job. That's the problem," he said, still in the clothes he wore when he went to work Friday morning.

POINT OF CONTENTION: About 100 workers are demanding back pay and severance packages identical to those offered 30 workers being laid off from the Coral Springs, Florida-based company's plastics division. The demands followed rumors that the entire plant was being closed, despite Starnes' assertion that the company doesn't plan to fire the others.

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