June 25 - U.S. executive Chip Starnes, co-owner of Florida-based medical supplies firm Coral Springs, says he has been held hostage by Chinese factory workers in Beijing over a pay dispute. Jessica Gray reports.
U.S. executive Chip Starnes speaks to reporters through a barred window on Tuesday. The co-owner of a medical supplies firm based in Florida has been held hostage at this Beijing, China plant since Friday over a pay dispute. Dozens of workers here claim they are owed severance packages after rumours the plant was shutting down. Starnes said he has no plans to close up shop as he did with a plastics division that was moved to India. He claims the issue at hand is a miscommunication with payroll. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CO-OWNER OF CORAL SPRINGS, SPECIALITY MEDICAL SUPPLIES, CHIP STARNES, SAYING: "I think disappointment's a really good word. I mean, I just want it to be resolved internally, I understand that, but it's just not the way I operate." China's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that officials had no information about the case, adding that the dispute should be solved via dialogue. Starnes' lawyer is expected to arrive at the plant to continue talks.