The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Los Angeles:
U.S. Court Lets Polluter off the Hook

Oct 26, 2020

Exide Technologies, a company worth $1.1 billion, walked out of a bankruptcy court in Delaware, free of any obligation toward the thousands of families that Exide has poisoned for more than 30 years.

Exide’s battery recycling plant in Vernon, near Los Angeles, spewed out lead, arsenic, and other poisonous chemicals into the air, water and soil of surrounding residential areas. In these neighborhoods, where more than 100,000 mostly working-class, Latino people live, two generations have already grown up with lead poisoning as children, and have been living with different types of cancers and respiratory illnesses as adults.

The State of California regulators allowed Exide to operate on “temporary permits” for 30 years, while it spewed pollution and dumped hazardous waste, poisoning tens of thousands of people who lived around the plant!

Only after the community’s outrage at Exide’s heinous crimes were Exide and its government protectors forced to close the plant. But when it came to the clean up, the U.S. Attorney’s office basically let Exide skate, in a “deal” in 2015. The feds dropped criminal charges, in exchange for Exide’s promise to clean up the plant, which they did not do.

Government agencies and the legal system are there to protect corporate profit, no matter what the cost in lives and health of workers. Now California taxpayers are expected to foot the bill for their poisoning by Exide.