Don’t Let Factory Workers Go Unpaid

A factory in Beijing

Target: Chip Starnes

Goal: Pay factory employees the two months’ compensation that has been unfairly withheld from them.

Employees from Speciality Medical Supplies in Beijing have been holding the US chief executive of the company, Chip Starnes, hostage in a revolutionary act in defence of fair wages. The employees say that they are owed two months’ worth of wages and that Mr. Chip Starnes has not paid them and are demanding severance packages in addition to the backpay. Mr. Starnes denied that any wages had gone unpaid and said that since the workers still had jobs,  he could not offer them severance pay.

Many CEOs will try to export labor to other countries, China being a frequent choice, in exchange for having to pay the workers less due to less rigid employee rights. This leads to the exploitation of workers who often have to work long hours in cramped, unsafe conditions for a very low rate of pay. Add to this the insult of not being paid for two months, as the workers at Specialty Medical Supplies are claiming, and it’s no wonder chief executives are being locked in their own offices.

Demand that Specialty Medical Supplies pays their workers the missing two months’ worth of pay that they have already earner as well as severance if they choose to leave. Don’t let big-business executives like Mr. Starnes continue to get away with abusing workers.


Dear Specialty Medical Supplies,

I am sure you are by now aware of your workers in a factory in Beijing who have forced Mr. Chip Starnes into his office until they receive two months’ payment for work they’ve done.

It is very important to keep the rights of factory workers in mind when running a business such as Specialty Medical Supplies. They are human beings with lives and families that the money from working at your company goes toward. Treating workers from anywhere as though they do not deserve safe working conditions and fair payment is unacceptable.

Although Mr. Starnes says the employees are not due the two months’ worth of pay that they are claiming, it is incredibly difficult to believe that due to the large number of workers that risked their safety to hold Mr. Starnes hostage to make such a statement.

The workers are also asking for severance payments, which should be given to workers who choose to leave the company and discontinue working for Specialty Medical Supplies.

I urge you to consider the rights and dignity of your workers in deciding what action to take in the case of Chip Starnes. I hope you will decide in favor of ensuring workers get fairly paid for work they’ve done and receive safe working conditions.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Gerrigje Engelen via Flickr

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