Beijing (CNN) -- Dozens of Chinese workers angry over a pay dispute have held their U.S. boss hostage for five days, the American businessman said.
Chip Starnes, co-founder and president of Specialty Medical Supplies China, has been trapped in the company's suburban Beijing factory since Friday. He told CNN it's all because of a misunderstanding about layoffs and severance packages.
"I tried to leave a day and a half ago, and there was like 60 or 70 of them here inside every entrance, and every exit was barricaded," Starnes said Tuesday from behind the gates of the factory. "I can't go anywhere."
Starnes decided his labor costs would be lower in India, so he outsourced 30 jobs and laid off a concomitant number of Chinese workers. Naturally, there are disputes over what happens next to the plant: workers say no materials have arrived in many days and so they fear the plant is closing, Starnes says the plant is fully operational, and so on.
There’s a lesson here for American workers: if you don’t want your job outsourced, don’t go gently into that goodbye. Fight, claw, kick, scratch. You care about your job, and failing the job existing any longer, you care about how you’re treated.
Hell, this is China, fercrissake! A land filled with people who are obeisant to authority and who value even the crappiest jobs, and these folks are putting up a fight!
So why won’t you?