BEIJING -- A U.S. company boss held hostage by his Chinese workers for nearly a week says an agreement has been reached to pay them, and he expects to leave his Beijing plant later today.
Chip Starnes told The Associated Press early this morning that a deal had been reached between him and the dozens of workers who had demanded generous severance packages even though they weren't being laid off.
Some workers had said that when they saw equipment being packed up and itemized for shipping to India last week they feared the whole plant was moving. Some said they were owed unpaid salary.
Starnes, a co-owner of Florida-based Specialty Medical Supplies, said he had been forced to give in to their demands. He summed up the past several days as "humiliating, embarrassing, saddened." During his time as hostage, he spoke with reporters through a barred window of the plant where he was being held.