Chinese Factory Workers Take Their American CEO Hostage

ceo_chipChip Starnes, CEO of Specialty Medical Supplies, flew to his company’s factory in China to lay off 30 workers as a first step in shifting production to India, where wages are lower. It is difficult to feel sorry for him regarding what subsequently occurred. Via Libcom:

Workers at a medical supplies factory in Beijing, China, have taken the owner of the factory hostage. He has been locked in his office for several days, and subject to sleep deprivation techniques. The action was taken following a dispute over unpaid wages and severance pay.

The factory boss, Chip Starnes, visited the factory last week to lay-off thirty workers. He gave them a redundancy payment and then intended on leaving. As soon as the rest of the workers on shift realised what was happening they thought the entire factory was about to close down and barricaded him in his office.

When interviewed, workers also claimed that their action was also due to unpaid wages over the last few months. The company deny there are any wages outstanding.

It has since surfaced that Starnes has made secret plans to shift production out of China, where wages in manufacturing have risen by 20% in less than a decade.

In a strange turn of events the police are treating the kidnapping as an internal/industrial dispute, and are refusing to intervene as they do not believe Mr. Starnes to be in immediate physical danger.

Company lawyers are said to be attempting to resolve what they describe as a ‘misunderstanding’.

  • Adamas Macalz

    Hot diggity daffodil… finally something goes right in the world

  • bobbiethejean

    Cry me a river. Maybe now this asshole will have some inkling of what it is like when no one has any regard for his life or humanity.

  • Andrew

    I wonder how differently the authorities would handle this if it happened in the USA.

    • mannyfurious

      It’s so unlikely to happen that they don’t even have to consider it as a possibility. They’d be forced to resort to some relic of a plan left over from the Civil Rights Movement or the Cold War….

      • emperorreagan

        Local governments only have one plan for everything: call in SWAT.
        Hostage situation? Call SWAT!
        Tense negotiation? Call SWAT!
        Found a Joint in a gutter? Call SWAT!
        Someone lost a cat? Call SWAT!

        • Anarchy Pony

          Reminds me of a series of video sketches I wanted to do with my friends back when we were all into airsoft. About a swat team in inappropriate situations or grossly overreacting to ordinary situations. Nobody else wanted to do it.

          • InAwe

            Who knows, it could have gotten the ball rolling for the next Monty Python equivalent.

          • emperorreagan

            I wanted to dress up as a plane and dance around two towers of milk crates, but couldn’t talk anyone into being the second plane.

        • mannyfurious

          Good point….

  • InfvoCuernos

    Notice that this is a medical supply company and that is using the cheapest labor it can find and not paying them on time. I bet the quality of the products are top-notch. I hope they hang his ass.

  • Noah_Nine

    why does this remind me of the simpson for some reason?

  • Rhoid Rager

    love to be a fly on the wall of that office!

  • InAwe

    I do like the police’s response.

  • Ittabena

    To Milton Friedman; Is this the Free Market policing itself? ROFLMAO! I wonder if Chip is laughing.

    • gustave courbet


  • Juan

    They oughtta Mussolini his ass.

  • swampwiz

    This could be another “business factor” – i.e., the fear of kidnapping or violence – that business schools will need to lecture to students when they are making a determination to offshore production.