Chip Starnes, bourgeois landlord capitalist roader from Florida, attempted to close down a wing of his medical supply factory outside of Beijing several days ago, only to be met with strong resistance from the workers, who have now locked him inside his factory office.
Starnes seeks to move much of his company’s production into India, where labor costs are cheaper. According to an interview on NPR:
He [Starnes] is now in negotiations to pay the workers who are owed money and he says that not all the workers are being laid off. And those who are not being laid will get paid. It’s really the kind of labor dispute we see all over China, even cases where bosses are, you know, sort of held hostage in their offices until they reach terms with the workers. It’s just usually does not happen with an American company boss. […]
Basically, the workers feel that we’re just not going to let anyone leave until this matter is settled. And they’re exhausted too. They, you know, they don’t feel good about dealing with their American boss this way, but they feel helpless and don’t know what to do and lack the resources and the experience to do much else.
Many of the workers at Starnes’s factory say that they have not been properly paid in months, and wish to keep Starnes from returning to the US, after which he would likely never be seen again.