American boss hostage arrives back to US

Print
Email
|

Associated Press

Posted on June 28, 2013 at 8:35 AM

Updated Friday, Jun 28 at 8:36 AM

MIAMI (AP) — An American executive says he was held for ransom by his company's Chinese workers in a pay dispute.

Chip Starnes spoke to NBC's "Today" show Friday morning just hours after arriving back home in Florida. He said he was "held ransom for severance package" and paid between $500-600,000 cash for his freedom.

Starnes left the Beijing factory Thursday after he and a union representative reached an agreement to pay the workers who had demanded severance packages similar to ones given to laid-off co-workers in a phased-out division, even though the company said the remaining workers weren't being laid off.

Starnes said the factory workers turned against him and called his experience of being held hostage for nearly a week a "nightmare."

Starnes is a co-owner of Florida-based Specialty Medical Supplies.

Print
Email
|