Skip to comments.Exide to lay off 150 workers
Posted on 11/08/2012 10:45:00 PM PST by My Favorite Headache
Exide Technologies announced Thursday that it will be idling its lead-recycling operations in Laureldale and laying off 150 workers, effective no later than March 31.
Idling means that all of the permits and approvals will be kept up to date and the plant will be maintained in case Exide wants to reopen it later, said Susan Jaramillo, spokeswoman for Exide.
The plant has been operating since the 1930s, Exide said.
The company will continue to operate its plastics-recycling business with about 25 employees.
"This decision was based on several factors, including the dramatic swings in the lead market and the high capital investment needed, due to regulatory requirements, to remain operational in Reading (Laureldale)," said Paul Hirt, president of Exide Americas. "By idling this facility, we can defer spending the capital while still having the majority of our internal lead demands met through our other three recycling centers in Vernon, Calif.; Canon Hollow, Mo.; and Muncie, Ind."
The Laureldale plant recycles used lead batteries and reuses the materials to make new batteries.
Workers at the Laureldale plant will have the opportunity to apply for jobs at other Exide facilities or get job-placement help, Jaramillo said.
Employees were informed of the company's decision during an all-employee meeting Thursday.
A 50-year-old employee said: "It's scary and I don't know what we're going to do. It's bad timing with the holidays coming up and I'm sure everyone is as upset as I am. I don't know where to go for jobs and there aren't that many around."
Exide has a history of odor-control problems associated with its lead-smelting operation. Within the past decade, the company has been fined about $400,000 by the state for numerous violations.
Still, the state Department of Environmental Protection renewed the plant's five-year air quality permit in 2010, stating that Exide had made several improvements to its operation and there have been fewer air quality-related complaints.
Donna Hoover, 70, a Laureldale resident who had served on an environmental advisory committee concerning Exide, was in disbelief Thursday after hearing new of the company's plans.
"I feel bad for the employees," she said, "but I have fought to get them in compliance for years."
Laureldale Mayor Fred Feltenberger said, "I can't make a comment on it because I don't anything about it."
Exide said it will continue to support all current, required environmental monitoring programs at the facility throughout the duration of the idling.
Exide said it will meet with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection within the next few weeks to discuss the steps to be taken to implement the idling.
Hawker Beechcraft Announces Cuts, Layoffs
A letter sent by Hawker Beechcraft to its employees Wednesday informed them that the company would be cutting workers and closing specific ...
Shaw's announces layoffs
Shaw's Supermarkets on Friday announced plans to reduce its store-level workforce by an estimated 700 positions. These reductions, which ...
Chipmaker AMD announces layoffs as PC sales stumble
15 percent, its second round of layoffs in less than a year as it struggles with a ... One of Read's first major moves was to announce a plan last ...
HOORAY Exide! Prepare. Persevere.
“Unexpected” news from my old home town. . .
Is Atlas starting to shrug?
Due to new, onerous rules from the EPA, I know of one manufacturing service industry that will force about one third of the companies to close up shop.
Many owners of the bigger manufacturing shops are talking about going offshore. They don’t have a choice.