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U.S. executive held by Chinese workers released


07:58, June 28, 2013

Please read: Boss held hostage over labor dispute in Beijing

BEIJING, June 27 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. corporate executive who has been confined to his company's factory since last Friday over a labor dispute was released on Thursday, local authorities said.

Chip Starnes, president of Specialty Medical Supplies Beijing Co., Ltd., was released Thursday morning after being held by about 100 workers at his company's plant in Beijing's Huairou District since Friday afternoon, the district trade union said.

The trade union said the workers have accepted mediation, adding that they will receive their salaries for June, as well as some compensation. The plant has no plans to stop production and will continue operating with newly hired workers, the union said.

Specialty Medical Supplies Beijing Co., Ltd. is a 10-year-old corporation funded by foreign capital.

Workers held Starnes after learning that the company had stopped two production lines and dismissed 34 of the plant's workers. The workers said they were worried about their salaries and rights.

Starnes was not allowed out of the factory compound, although he was permitted to walk within the grounds during the day.

He held several rounds of talks with worker representatives, as well as district labor administration mediators, the district labor union and lawyers.

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