Exide commits to return 40+ jobs to Bristol
Exide Technologies has announced plans to resume operations in Bristol, Tenn., where it was once a leading employer. The company said in a press release it has submitted the necessary paperwork to restart operations with around 40 new employees in September. The company said it plans to add additional shifts based on demand.
Rumors of the resumption of operations had been flying with reports of the company contacting former long-time employees via social media.The Bristol Herald Courier first reported Exide’s January filing of its application to restart with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation March 15 in a copyrighted story by Tammy Childress.
The Herald Courier story cited community concerns regarding potential air quality issues near the Exide plant. The company said in its release, “Upon restart, our state-of-the-art formation line in Bristol will be used exclusively for the formation of transportation batteries. Any associated air emissions will be controlled in strict compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations. If the formation room operations recommence, the Bristol facility will be permitted under oversight by the Tennessee Department of Environmental Conservation’s (TEDEC’s) Air Division.
“Protecting the health, safety and well-being of our employees and the people in the communities in which we operate and live is a clear Exide priority. New Exide leadership has established robust Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) processes and management that meet or exceed requirements of national, state and/or local laws and regulations.”
The company specifically stated it has no plans to resume production of lead-acid batteries in Bristol, nor to restart any other lines beyond transportation batteries. That production, the company said, will classify it as a “minor source of air emissions” by federal environmental standards.
Exide, which at one time was Bristol, Tenn.’s largest employer, operated in the cityfrom 1994 to 2013, manufacturing and forming batteries for transportation industry customers. In 2007, the company reported having 960 employees.