Turning efficiency wage theory on its head

The co-founder of Florida-based Specialty Medical Supplies has been held since Friday in the executive quarters of his factory on the outskirts of Beijing, he said. About 80 of his 110 employees are blocking doors and locking gates, refusing to let the 42-year-old entrepreneur go until they get severance packages, according to Chip Starnes, the co-founder.

It’s not all bad, however:

Speaking on Monday from behind the bars of a window of the 10-year-old factory that makes alcohol pads and diabetes equipment, Mr. Starnes apologized for his fatigue. He said during the first few nights of his entrapment that employees treated him like a prisoner of war, depriving him of sleep by making jarring noises and shining bright lights in his eyes. There are no guns, however, and Mr. Starnes said that he hasn’t been physically harmed in any way.


Despite becoming a prisoner in his own offices, Mr. Starnes said he is willing to stick it out in China and even a few more weeks in his present confines. “Thankfully when I built the place, I put a toilet in it,” he said.

I noted this sentence from the article:

It is unclear how often executives are held hostage.

Perhaps this should be added to the Doing Business index as a new variable.  (Update: it’s pretty common.)  In any case, you can read more here.


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