Johnson Controls announced today it plans to eliminate lead-processing operations from its facility in Kangqiao battery plant in response to the Shanghai Municipal government’s efforts to end lead manufacturing in the area.
The decision ends a long battle over lead pollution the Shanghai government says is linked to the Glendale-based company. The government shut down operations there in February. Johnson Controls has denied the claims.
Workers at the Kangqiao plant will still participate in storage, labeling, prepping and shipping batteries manufactured elsewhere, but the lead-processing equipment will be removed. Some employees will be laid off, with the possibility of transfers to other Johnson Controls facilities.
“China is an important market and Johnson Controls is committed to supporting our customers in the China market,” said Alex Molinaroli, president, Johnson Controls Power Solutions. ‘While we are disappointed with the local government’s position, and we stand by our environmental performance, we will continue to transparently work with governments and the industry to address environmental requirements. We are committed to assisting in the establishment of responsible performance standards across the industry while responding to the needs of our customers, our employees and the community.”
Lead production has been redirected to other Chinese facilities.