News Summary: US boss hostage of Beijing workers

News Summary: US factory boss held hostage in China by workers demanding compensation packages

Associated Press

POWER PLAY: An American executive said Monday he has been held hostage for four days at his medical supply plant in Beijing by scores of workers demanding severance packages like those given to 30 co-workers in a phased-out department.

STRONGARM TACTICS: Chip Starnes, a co-owner of Coral Springs, Florida-based Specialty Medical Supplies, said local officials visited the plant and forced him to sign agreements to meet the workers' demands even though the remaining 100 workers weren't being laid off.

A TRADITION: It is not rare in China for managers to be held by workers demanding back pay or other benefits.

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