No ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ Card for this U.S. plastics executive in China

If you're looking for another reason not to manufacture in China, how about this one: Chinese workers at a plastics manufacturing plant in Beijing have been keeping an American executive confined to his office in the plant for five days, according to numerous media reports.

The workers went rogue after 30 of their cohorts were laid off and given severance packages. The 100 workers still at the plant, which makes medical disposables, are demanding two months back pay, and the same severance package as the 30 laid off workers in spite of the fact that they'd not been laid off, according to various news reports [our John Clark addressed the implications of what the strange case could mean in the context of global labor rates].

The American executive, Chip Starnes, who works for Coral Springs, Florida-based Specialty Medical Supplies, has denied that the company owes the workers any back wages, and that "the demands followed rumors that the entire plant was being closed, despite Starnes' assertion that the company doesn't plan to fire the others," according to a report in

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