Boss Held ‘Hostage’ by Workers Freed After 6 Days

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(Courtesy: CNN)

By CY Xu and Holly Yan, CNN

BEIJING (CNN) — An American businessman who said he was held hostage by dozens of his Chinese employees was released Thursday after six days.

Chip Starnes, co-founder and president of Specialty Medical Supplies China, had been trapped in the company’s suburban Beijing factory since Friday.

Starnes reached an agreement with the workers after a pay dispute. Officials said 97 employees signed for a new compensation agreement.

On Tuesday, Starnes told CNN’s David McKenzie from behind the factory’s gates that he was being held hostage.

“I tried to leave a day and a half ago, and there was like 60 or 70 of them here inside every entrance, and every exit was barricaded,” Starnes said. “I can’t go anywhere.”

He said workers had deprived him of sleep by banging on doors and windows, but that they had not inflicted any physical harm.

CNN’s CY Xu reported from Beijing; Holly Yan wrote from Atlanta