March 31, 2000
 
 
Mr. Wade H. Roberts, Jr.
1385 Eaves Spring Road
Malvern, Pennsylvania 19355
 
 
Dear Mr. Roberts:
 
         You are  presently  employed  by C&D  Technologies,  Inc.,  a  Delaware
corporation (the "Company"), in an executive capacity and the Company desires to
encourage such continued  employment by providing certain protections for you by
entering into this Agreement with you, in return for which you agree to continue
to be  employed by the Company on the terms set forth  herein,  to refrain  from
certain competitive  activity and to provide the Company with certain assurances
upon your departure. In consideration of same, the Company agrees to employ you,
and you  agree  to  accept  such  employment,  under  the  following  terms  and
conditions:
 
         1. TERM OF  EMPLOYMENT.  Except for earlier  termination as provided in
Section 9 below,  your  employment  under this  Agreement,  and the term of this
Agreement,  shall be for an initial  period  commencing  on the date hereof (the
"Effective  Date") and  terminating  on October 21, 2000 (the  "Initial  Term").
After the Initial Term,  this Agreement and your  employment  hereunder shall be
renewed  automatically  for successive  terms of one year each (each, a "Renewal
Term"),  unless  prior to the end of the Initial Term or any Renewal Term either
party shall have given to the other party at least 90 days' prior written notice
(a "Termination  Notice"),  of termination of this  Agreement.  If a Termination
Notice is given by either party, (a) the Company shall, without any liability to
you, have the right,  exercisable  at any time after the  Termination  Notice is
given,  to elect any other person to the office or offices in which you are then
serving and to remove you from such  office or  offices,  but (b) except for the
obligations set forth in Section 3 and 4, all other  obligations each of you and
the Company have to the other,  including the  Company's  obligation to pay your
compensation  and  make  available  the  benefits  to  which  you  are  entitled
hereunder, shall continue until the end of the Initial Term or any Renewal Term,
as the case may be,  or  thereafter,  to the  extent  such  obligations  survive
pursuant to the terms of this Agreement.
 
         2.  COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS.
 
         (a) From and after the Effective  Date,  you shall be  compensated  for
performance of your obligations  under this Agreement at a rate of not less than
$350,000 per annum (such salary,  as adjusted from time to time, is  hereinafter
referred to as the "Base Salary"),  payable in such manner as is consistent with
the Company's payroll practices for executive employees. The Board of
 
<PAGE>
 
 
Directors may from time to time  thereafter  consider  future  increases in Base
Salary in its sole discretion.
 
         (b) You shall have the  benefit of and be entitled  to  participate  in
such employee benefit plans and programs, including life, disability and medical
insurance,  pension, savings, retirement and other similar plans, as the Company
now has or hereafter may establish  from time to time, and in which you would be
entitled  to  participate  pursuant  to the  terms  thereof,  including  without
limitation  the  Company's  existing  Supplemental   Executive  Retirement  Plan
("SERP"). The foregoing,  however, shall not be construed to require the Company
to  establish  any such  plans or to  prevent  the  Company  from  modifying  or
terminating  any such plans,  and no such action or failure thereof shall affect
this Agreement.
 
         (c) You shall be entitled (i) to participate in the Company's Incentive
Compensation Plan each year in accordance with criteria and for amounts approved
by the Compensation Committee, and (ii) to be granted options, to the extent (if
any) approved by the  Compensation  Committee or the relevant Option  Committee,
under the Company's  stock option plans in effect from time to time, in addition
to those  granted  to you  prior to the date of this  Agreement  (the  "Original
Grant"). Without limiting the foregoing, you shall have a targeted bonus for the
fiscal year ending January 31, 2000 of 40% of the Base Salary paid to you during
the  portion of the fiscal  year  prior to the time you became  Chief  Executive
Officer and  increasing  to 50% of your Base Salary for the portion of such year
following your promotion to Chief Executive  Officer (with the actual payment of
any bonus  described  herein  being  dependent on your  achievement  of targeted
objectives).
 
         (d) In the event of a Change of  Control  Termination  (as  defined  in
Exhibit A hereto),  you shall be entitled to certain  payments  and  benefits as
provided  in  Exhibit  A  hereto,  which  payments  and  benefits  shall  be  in
substitution  for,  not in addition  to, the  payments  and  benefits  otherwise
payable under this Agreement in the event of termination.
 
         (e) You shall be entitled to four weeks of vacation each year.
 
         (f) The Company  shall  reimburse you annually for up to $5,000 of fees
and expenses  incurred by you for personal tax and  financial  planning  advice,
upon  presentation  by  you of  appropriate  substantiation  of  such  fees  and
expenses.
 
         (g)  The  Company  shall  provide  you  with  a  leased  automobile  of
reasonable size and quality suitable to your position and shall pay or reimburse
you for insurance,  repairs,  maintenance  and fuel expenses with regard to such
automobile. You acknowledge that some or all of the benefits provided under this
Section 2(g) may  constitute  taxable income for which you are  responsible  for
payment of income taxes.
 
         3. DUTIES. (a) During the term of your employment hereunder,  including
any Renewal Term hereof, you shall serve and the Company shall employ you as the
President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, with such executive duties
and responsibilities  consistent with such positions and stature as the Board of
Directors  from time to time may  determine.  You shall
 
                                       -2-
<PAGE>
 
report to, and act under the general  direction of, the Board of Directors.  You
shall  use your  best  efforts  to carry  out the  instructions  of the Board of
Directors. You shall be nominated, on an annual basis as long as you continue to
be employed under this Agreement, for election by the stockholders as a director
of the  Company  and,  if  elected,  you  shall  serve  as a  director,  without
additional compensation.  In addition, at the request of the Board of Directors,
you  shall  serve  as an  officer  and/or  director  of  any  of  the  Company's
subsidiaries,  in all cases in conformity with the organizational  documents and
the  policies  of the  Board  of  Directors  of each  such  subsidiary,  without
additional compensation.
 
         (b) You shall  devote your entire  business  time and  energies  during
normal  business  hours to the  business  and  affairs  of the  Company  and its
subsidiaries.  Nothing in this Section 3 shall be construed as  prohibiting  you
from investing your personal assets in businesses in which your participation is
solely  that of a passive  investor  in such form or manner as will not  violate
Section 5 hereof or  require  any  services  on your  part in the  operation  or
affairs of those businesses.  You may also participate in philanthropic or civic
activities as long as they do not materially  interfere with your performance of
your duties hereunder.
 
         (c) You shall be subject to the Company's rules, practices and policies
applicable to the Company's senior executive employees.
 
         4.  EXPENSES.  The  Company  shall  reimburse  you for  all  reasonable
expenses incurred by you in connection with your employment upon presentation of
appropriate  documentation  therefor in accordance  with the  Company's  expense
reimbursement  practices. In the event the Company's principal executive offices
are located to a location  more than 50 miles from their current  location,  the
Company  shall  reimburse  your  moving  expenses  (including  reasonable  costs
relating to interim living accommodations).
 
         5.  RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS.
 
         (a) During such time as you shall be employed by the  Company,  and for
the applicable  Restricted Period (as defined below) thereafter,  you shall not,
without the written  consent of the Board of Directors,  directly or indirectly,
become  associated  with,  render services to, invest in,  represent,  advise or
otherwise participate as an officer, employee, director, stockholder, partner or
agent of, or as a consultant  for, any business  anywhere in the world that,  at
the time your  employment  with the  Company  ceases,  is  competitive  with the
business  in which the  Company  is engaged  or in which the  Company  has taken
affirmative steps to engage (a "Competitive Business");  provided, however, that
(i)  nothing  herein  shall  prevent  you  from  investing  in up  to 5% of  the
securities of any company listed on a national  securities exchange or quoted on
the Nasdaq quotation  system,  as long as your involvement with any such company
is solely that of a stockholder,  and (ii) nothing herein is intended to prevent
you from being employed  following the  termination of your  employment with the
Company by any business other than a Competitive  Business.  With respect to any
termination of your employment  other than upon a Change of Control  pursuant to
Exhibit  A,  the  applicable  Restricted  Period  shall be the  one-year  period
following the date your employment terminates, and with respect to a termination
of your  employment  upon a  Change  of  Control  pursuant
 
                                      -3-
<PAGE>
 
 
to Exhibit A, the  applicable  Restricted  Period shall be the  two-year  period
following  the  date  your  employment  terminates.  You  acknowledge  that  the
provisions of this Section 5 are reasonable in light of the Company's  worldwide
business  operations and the position in which you will serve at the Company and
that they will not prevent you from obtaining  employment  after the termination
of this Agreement.
 
         (b) The parties  hereto  intend  that the  covenant  contained  in this
Section 5 shall be deemed a series of separate  covenants  for each  appropriate
jurisdiction.  If, in any judicial  proceeding,  a court shall refuse to enforce
all of the separate covenants deemed included in this Section 5 on grounds that,
taken together,  they cover too extensive a geographic  area, the parties intend
that those covenants (taken in order of the least populous jurisdictions) which,
if eliminated,  would permit the remaining  separate covenants to be enforced in
that proceeding, shall, for the purpose of such proceeding, be deemed eliminated
from the provisions of this Section 5.
 
         6.  CONFIDENTIALITY, NONINTERFERENCE AND PROPRIETARY INFORMATION.
 
         (a) In the course of (i) your employment by the Company hereunder,  and
(ii) any prior employment with the Company, you will have access to Confidential
or Proprietary  Data or  Information  of the Company.  You shall not at any time
divulge or communicate to any person,  nor shall you direct any Company employee
to  divulge  or  communicate  to any  person  (other  than to a person  bound by
confidentiality  obligations similar to those contained herein and other than as
necessary in  performing  your duties  hereunder) or use to the detriment of the
Company or for the  benefit of any other  person,  any of such  Confidential  or
Proprietary  Data or  Information,  except to the  extent  the same (i)  becomes
publicly  known other than through a breach of this  Agreement by you,  (ii) was
known to you prior to the disclosure thereof by the Company to you from a source
that was entitled to disclose it or (iii) is subsequently  disclosed to you by a
third  party  who  shall  not  have   received  it  under  any   obligation   of
confidentiality  to the  Company.  For  purposes  of this  Agreement,  the  term
"Confidential or Proprietary Data or Information" shall mean data or information
not  generally  available  to  the  public,   including  personnel  information,
financial  information,  customer  lists,  supplier  lists,  product and tooling
specifications,  trade secrets,  information  concerning product composition and
formulas,  tools and dies,  drawings and  schematics,  manufacturing  processes,
information regarding operations,  systems and services,  knowhow,  computer and
any other  electronic,  processed  or  collated  data,  computer  programs,  and
pricing, marketing, sales and advertising data.
 
         (b) You  shall  not,  during  the  term of this  Agreement  and for the
applicable  Restricted  Period after the  termination of your  employment by the
Company,  for your own  account  or for the  account  of any other  person,  (i)
solicit or divert to any Competitive  Business any individual or entity who is a
customer of the Company or any subsidiary or affiliate of the Company or who was
a customer of the Company or any  subsidiary  or affiliate  during the preceding
twelve-month period, (ii) employ,  retain as a consultant,  attempt to employ or
retain as a consultant,  solicit or assist any Competitive Business in employing
or  retaining  as a  consultant  any  current  employee  of the  Company  or any
subsidiary  or  affiliate  or any person who was  employed by the Company or any
subsidiary  or  affiliate  during  the  preceding  twelve-month  period or (iii)
otherwise interfere in any
 
                                      -4-
<PAGE>
 
material  respect with the  Company's  relationship  with any of its  suppliers,
customers,  employees or consultants;  provided,  however, that you shall not be
prohibited  from  contacting  suppliers or customers  after  termination of your
employment  with regard to matters  that do not violate your  noncompetition  or
confidentiality  obligations contained in Sections 5(a) and 6(a) or interfere in
any material respect with the Company's relationship with such parties.
 
         (c) You shall at all times  promptly  disclose to the Company,  in such
form  and  manner  as  the  Company  reasonably  may  require,  any  inventions,
improvements or procedural or  methodological  innovations,  programs,  methods,
forms,  systems,  services,  designs,  marketing  ideas,  products or  processes
(whether or not capable of being trademarked, copyrighted or patented) conceived
or developed  or created by you during and in  connection  with your  employment
hereunder  and  which  relate  to the  business  of the  Company  ("Intellectual
Property").  All such  Intellectual  Property  shall be the sole property of the
Company.  You shall execute such instruments and perform such acts as reasonably
may be  requested  by the  Company to transfer to and perfect in the Company all
legally  protectable  rights in such  Intellectual  Property.  If the Company is
unable for any reason to secure your signature on such  instruments,  you hereby
irrevocably  appoint the Company and its  officers and agents as your agents and
attorneys-in-fact  to execute  such  instruments  and to do such things with the
same legal force and effect as if executed or done by you.
 
         (d) All written,  electronic and other tangible materials,  records and
documents  made by you or coming into your  possession  during  your  employment
concerning any products, processes or equipment,  manufactured, used, developed,
investigated  or considered by the Company or otherwise  concerning the business
or affairs of the Company,  shall be the sole property of the Company,  and upon
termination of your  employment,  or upon the request of the Company during your
employment,  you  shall  deliver  the same to the  Company.  In  addition,  upon
termination  of your  employment,  or upon  request of the  Company  during your
employment,  you shall deliver to the Company all other Company property in your
possession or under your control,  including confidential or proprietary data or
information and all Company credit cards and computer and telephone equipment.
 
         7.  EQUITABLE  RELIEF.  With  respect  to the  covenants  contained  in
Sections 5 and 6 of this Agreement,  you acknowledge  that any remedy at law for
any breach of said covenants may be inadequate and that the Company, in addition
to its rights at law,  shall be entitled to  specific  performance  or any other
mode of injunctive or other equitable relief to enforce its rights hereunder.
 
         8.  TERMINATION;  ADDITIONAL  COMPENSATION.  This  Agreement,  and your
employment  hereunder,  shall  terminate prior to the end of the Initial Term or
any Renewal Term, upon the following terms and conditions:
 
         (a) This Agreement  shall terminate  automatically  on the date of your
death.  Notwithstanding  the  foregoing,  if you  die  during  the  term of this
Agreement,  the Company  shall (i)  continue to make  payments to your estate of
your Base Salary as then in effect pursuant to this Agreement for 180 days after
the date of your death, and (ii) pay your estate any reimbursable expenses which
otherwise would have been paid to you to the date of your death.
 
                                      -5-
 
<PAGE>
 
 
         (b) This Agreement  shall be terminated,  at the option of the Company,
if you are unable to perform a substantial  portion of your duties hereunder for
any 180 days (whether or not  consecutive)  during any period of 365 consecutive
days by reason of physical or mental disability.  Notwithstanding the foregoing,
the Company shall  continue to pay to you,  until 180 days after  termination of
your employment due to such  disability,  your Base Salary at the rate in effect
on the date of termination.  After such six-month period,  you shall be entitled
to receive any amounts due and owing pursuant to any disability policy sponsored
by or made  available  through the  Company to the extent you  qualify  therefor
under the terms of such  disability  policy.  For  purposes  of this  Agreement,
"physical  or  mental  disability"  shall  mean  your  inability,  due to health
reasons,  to  discharge  properly  your duties of  employment,  supported by the
opinion of a physician  reasonably  satisfactory to both you and the Company. If
the parties do not agree on a mutually  satisfactory  physician  within ten days
after written demand by one or the other,  a physician  shall be selected by the
president of the  Pennsylvania  Medical  Association,  and the physician  shall,
within 30 days thereafter,  make a determination as to whether disability exists
and certify the same in writing. The services of the physician shall be paid for
by the  Company.  You  shall  fully  cooperate  with  the  examining  physician,
including  submitting  yourself to such  examinations as may be requested by the
physician for the purpose of determining whether you are disabled.
 
         (c) This Agreement  shall  terminate  immediately if your employment is
terminated  hereunder for Cause.  For purposes of this Agreement,  "Cause" shall
exist upon a finding by the Board of Directors of any of the  following:  (i) an
act or acts of willful  material  misrepresentation,  fraud or dishonesty by you
that results in the personal  enrichment  of you or another  person or entity at
the expense of the Company; (ii) your admission, confession or conviction of any
felony or any other crime or offense  involving  misuse or  misappropriation  of
money or other  property;  (iii) any act involving  gross moral turpitude by you
that adversely affects the Company;  (iv) your continued  material breach of any
obligations  under this Agreement 30 days after the Company has given you notice
thereof in  reasonable  detail,  if such breach has not been cured by you during
such period; or (v) your gross negligence or willful  misconduct with respect to
your duties or gross  misfeasance of office.  Notwithstanding  the foregoing and
Section  1(d)(ii) of the SERP,  the definition of "Cause" solely for purposes of
the SERP shall be the definition of "Cause"  contained in Section l(d)(i) of the
SERP.
 
         (d) Upon  termination  of this  Agreement  for any  reason  other  than
pursuant to a Change of Control,  in addition to any other rights or benefits to
which you may be entitled  under this  Agreement,  you shall be paid all Accrued
Obligations  through the date of  termination.  The term  "Accrued  Obligations"
shall mean (i) your Base Salary through the date of termination;  (ii) any bonus
earned pursuant to the terms of any applicable  incentive  compensation or bonus
plan of the Company but not yet paid with  respect to any fiscal year  completed
prior to  termination;  (iii) a  prorated  bonus  for the  fiscal  year in which
termination  occurs  equal to the  product  of (x) any bonus paid to you for the
prior fiscal year of the Company multiplied by (y) a fraction,  the numerator of
which is the number of days in the current  fiscal  year  during  which you were
employed  by the  Company,  and the  denominator  of which is 365;  and (iv) any
accrued vacation pay not yet paid by the Company;  provided, that if termination
is by the Company for Cause or by you  voluntarily,  the
 
                                      -6-
<PAGE>
 
 
"Accrued  Obligations"  will not include the amounts referred to in clause (iii)
above.  Upon  termination of this Agreement (other than by the Company for Cause
or pursuant to a Change of Control or by you in  violation  of this  Agreement),
(A) you shall also be  entitled  to all rights and  benefits  under  benefit and
incentive  plans  (other than those  relating to  bonuses)  in  accordance  with
respective  terms of those  plans;  (B) you  shall  be  reimbursed  for all your
business  expenses  incurred prior to  termination in accordance  with Section 4
above;  (C) the Company shall, at your request within 15 days after  termination
and at your expense, assign to you the lease and any related purchase option for
the automobile provided to you pursuant to Section 2(g), provided such lease and
purchase  option  is  assignable;  and  (D) to the  extent  the  Company's  life
insurance plan has a conversion option available upon termination of employment,
the Company  shall make such option  available to you. Upon  termination  by the
Company  for  Cause,  you shall be  reimbursed  for all your  business  expenses
incurred  prior to  termination  in  accordance  with Section 4. For purposes of
clause (ii) above,  a bonus shall be deemed to be earned upon  completion of the
fiscal year to which it relates  regardless of whether the Board of Directors or
its Compensation  Committee has approved bonuses for such year as of the date of
termination.
 
         (e) Except upon the occurrence of a Change of Control  Termination  (as
defined in Exhibit A), if your  employment  hereunder shall be terminated by the
Company (i) without  Cause,  other than pursuant to Section 8(a) or (b), or (ii)
as a result of nonrenewal  pursuant to a Termination Notice given by the Company
under  Section l, then in addition to any other  rights or benefits to which you
may be entitled,  the Company shall, for a period of one year after termination,
(x)  continue  to pay you your Base  Salary at the rate in effect on the date of
termination;  (y) continue to provide you with a leased  automobile  pursuant to
Section  2(g);  and (z)  continue  all other  benefits  provided to you prior to
termination  (except not  including  any bonus with  respect to the period after
termination);  provided, however, that to the extent the Company's benefit plans
do not permit such continued  participation or such participation  would have an
adverse tax impact on such plans or on the other  participants  in such plans or
is otherwise  prohibited  by  applicable  law,  the Company may instead  provide
materially  equivalent benefits to you outside such plans (which, in the case of
medical insurance  benefits,  may be provided by the Company paying any premiums
for  continuation  of your medical  benefits  pursuant to the  provisions of the
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act ("COBRA"),  COBRA coverage in any
event to be measured from the date of termination of employment).
 
         (f) In the event of a Change of  Control  Termination,  this  Agreement
shall  terminate in accordance with the terms of Exhibit A, and the payments and
benefits to which you shall be entitled shall be governed solely by Exhibit A.
 
         (g) In the event this  Agreement  is  terminated  for any reason by the
Company  (other  than due to  death,  disability,  for Cause or upon a Change of
Control),  or the Company  provides a Termination  Notice as forth in Section 1,
upon termination of your employment  under this Agreement,  any unvested options
from the Original Grant that you may own that would otherwise have vested within
one year from the date of termination shall be deemed to vest effective upon the
date of termination and become exercisable for a period of 90 days following the
date of  termination.  All other unvested  options from the Original Grant shall
terminate.
 
                                      -7-
 
<PAGE>
 
 
         (h) The payment by the Company of any compensation or benefits pursuant
to this Section 8 other than the Accrued  Obligations  shall be  conditioned  on
your  execution of a Release (a "Release") in a form provided by and  acceptable
to the Company.  Such Release  shall be  substantially  in the form of Exhibit B
hereto but may be  modified by the  Company in its sole  discretion  as it deems
appropriate to reflect changes in law or circumstances arising after the date of
this Agreement;  provided, however, that no such modification shall increase any
of your  obligations to the Company over those  contemplated  in this Agreement,
including the Exhibits hereto.
 
         9.  REPRESENTATIONS.  You hereby represent and warrant that you are not
subject  to  any  employment   agreement,   non-competition  or  confidentiality
agreement or other  commitment  that either  would be violated by your  entering
into or performing your obligations  under this Agreement or that would restrict
in any manner or interfere with the  performance of your  obligation  under this
Agreement.  You hereby further  represent and warrant that you have not revealed
to the Company or any employee of the Company any  confidential  information  of
any former employer, and you agree that you will not do so in the future.
 
         10.  ENTIRE  AGREEMENT;  MODIFICATION;  CONSTRUCTION.  This  Agreement,
together with the Exhibits  hereto and all of your rights under the SERP and all
other employee benefit plans in which you participate,  constitutes the full and
complete  understanding of the parties,  and supersedes all prior agreements and
understandings,  oral or  written,  between  the  parties,  with  respect to the
subject  matter  hereof,  except  for the  Agreement  Relating  to  Intellectual
Property and Confidential Information dated October 23, 1998 between you and the
Company ("Confidentiality  Agreement");  provided, however, that if the terms of
any  such  employee  benefit  plan or such  Confidentiality  Agreement  shall be
inconsistent  with the  provisions  to this  Agreement,  the  provisions of this
Agreement  shall  prevail.  Exhibit A and Exhibit B are hereby  incorporated  by
reference  and  made a part of this  Agreement.  Each  party  to this  Agreement
acknowledges that no representations,  inducements, promises or agreements, oral
or  otherwise,  have been made by either  party,  or anyone  acting on behalf of
either party,  that are not set forth or referred to herein.  This Agreement may
not be  modified or amended  except by an  instrument  in writing  signed by the
party against which enforcement thereof may be sought.
 
         11. SEVERABILITY.  Any term or provision of this Agreement that is held
to  be  invalid  or  unenforceable  in  any  jurisdiction   shall,  as  to  that
jurisdiction,  be ineffective to the extent that invalidity or  unenforceability
without rendering invalid or unenforceable the remaining terms and provisions of
this Agreement or affecting the validity or  enforceability  of any of the terms
or provisions of this Agreement in any other jurisdiction.
 
         12.  WAIVER OF BREACH.  The  waiver by either  party of a breach of any
provision of this  Agreement,  which waiver must be in writing to be  effective,
shall not operate as or be construed as a waiver of any subsequent breach.
 
                                      -8-
 
<PAGE>
 
 
         13.  NOTICES.  All notices  hereunder  shall be in writing and shall be
sent by messenger or by certified or registered mail,  postage  prepaid,  return
receipt  requested,  if to you, to your residence set forth above, and if to the
Company,  to the Vice  President-Human  Resources,  at the Company's address set
forth above,  or to such other address as either party to this  Agreement  shall
specify to the other.
 
         14.  ASSIGNABILITY;   BINDING  EFFECT.  This  Agreement  shall  not  be
assignable by either party,  except that it may be assigned by the Company to an
acquiror  of all or  substantially  all of the  assets of the  Company  or other
successor  to the  Company,  subject  to your  rights  arising  from a Change of
Control as provided in Exhibit A. This Agreement shall be binding upon and inure
to the benefit of you, your legal representatives,  heirs and distributees,  and
shall be binding  upon and inure to the benefit of the Company,  its  successors
and assigns.
 
         15. NO MITIGATION  REQUIRED.  Upon a termination of your  employment by
the Company  without Cause  pursuant to Section 8(g) or upon a Change of Control
pursuant to Exhibit A, you shall have no obligation to seek other employment but
shall not be prohibited  from doing so, and no  compensation  paid to you as the
result of any other  employment  shall reduce any payment required to be made by
the Company hereunder.
 
         16.   GOVERNING   LAW.  All  questions   pertaining  to  the  validity,
construction, execution and performance of this Agreement shall be construed and
governed  in  accordance  with the  laws of the  Commonwealth  of  Pennsylvania,
without giving effect to the conflicts or choice of law provisions thereof.
 
         17. NONDISPARAGEMENT.  You agree not to publicly or privately disparage
the  Company,  its  personnel,  products  or  services  either  during  or  upon
termination of your employment by the Company.
 
         18.  SURVIVAL.  All of the  provisions of this  Agreement that by their
terms are to be performed or that otherwise are to endure after the  termination
of  your  employment  by the  Company  shall  survive  the  termination  of your
employment  and shall  continue  in effect for the  respective  periods  therein
provided or contemplated.
 
         19.  HEADINGS.  The headings in this Agreement are intended  solely for
convenience  of reference  and shall be given no effect in the  construction  or
interpretation of this Agreement.
 
         20.  COUNTERPARTS.   This   Agreement   may  be  executed  in  several
counterparts,  each of which shall be deemed to be an original  but all of which
together shall constitute one and the same instrument.
 
                                      -9-
 
<PAGE>
 
 
         If you are in agreement with the  foregoing,  please sign the duplicate
original in the space provided below and return it to the Company.
 
                                       C&D TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
 
 
                                       By:/s/ William Harral, III
                                          ----------------------------
 
                                       Title: Chairman of the Board
                                              of Directors
                                          ----------------------------
Agreed as of the date
above written:
 
/s/ Wade H. Roberts, Jr.
- -------------------------------
    Wade H. Roberts, Jr.
 
 
                                      -10-
 
 
<PAGE>
 
 
                                    EXHIBIT A
                    TO EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT (THE "AGREEMENT")
                      OF WADE H. ROBERTS, JR. ("EXECUTIVE")
                    -----------------------------------------
 
 
(Capitalized terms used herein and not otherwise defined have the meanings given
to them in the Agreement.)
 
I. SPECIAL TERMINATION PROVISIONS.  In the event a Change of Control (as defined
below)  occurs,  and within 24 months  after  such  Change of  Control:  (a) the
Executive's  employment with the Company is terminated by the Executive pursuant
to a  Termination  for Good Reason (as defined  below);  or (b) the  Executive's
employment  with the Company is  terminated  by the Company for any reason other
than death, disability or for Cause pursuant to Sections 8(a), (b) or (c) of the
Agreement; or (c) the Agreement is not renewed due to a Termination Notice given
by the  Company,  as provided in Section 1 of the  Agreement  (the events  under
clauses  (a),  (b) and (c)  herein  collectively  called a  "Change  of  Control
Termination"),  the  Executive  shall be entitled to receive  the  payments  and
benefits  set forth in Section  III below in  consideration  of the  Executive's
agreements  under the  Agreement,  including but not limited to the  Executive's
agreement  not to compete  with the  Company  for a period of two years  after a
Change of Control  pursuant to Section 5(a) of the Agreement and the Executive's
execution of the Release contemplated by Section 8(h) of the Agreement.
 
II. DEFINITIONS.
 
         (a) CHANGE OF  CONTROL.  For  purposes of the  Agreement,  a "Change of
Control"  shall be deemed to have  occurred  if: (i) any  person (as  defined in
Section  3(a)(9)  of the  Securities  Exchange  Act of  1934,  as  amended  (the
"Exchange Act") and as used in Sections 13(d) and 14(d) thereof)), excluding the
Company,  any "Subsidiary" and any employee benefit plan sponsored or maintained
by the Company or any Subsidiary  (including any trustee of any such plan acting
in his  capacity  as  trustee),  but  including  a "group" as defined in Section
13(d)(3) of the Exchange Act,  becomes the beneficial  owner (as defined in Rule
13d-3 under the  Exchange  Act) of shares of the Company  having at least 30% of
the total  number of votes that may be cast for the election of directors of the
Company;  (ii) the stockholders of the Company shall approve any merger or other
business  combination of the Company,  sale of all or  substantially  all of the
Company's assets or combination of the foregoing transactions (a "Transaction"),
other  than a  Transaction  involving  only the  Company  and one or more of its
Subsidiaries,  or a Transaction  immediately following which the stockholders of
the Company immediately prior to the Transaction  continue to have a majority of
the  voting  power in the  resulting  entity  (excluding  for this  purpose  any
stockholder  of the Company owning  directly or indirectly  more than 10% of the
shares of the other company  involved in the  Transaction)  and no person is the
beneficial  owner of at least  30% of the  shares  of the  resulting  entity  as
contemplated  by Section  II(a)(i)  above;  or (iii) within any 24-month  period
beginning  on or after the date  hereof,  the persons who were  directors of the
Company  immediately  before  the  beginning  of  such  period  (the  "Incumbent
Directors") shall cease (for any reason other than death) to constitute at least
a majority of the Board of Directors of the Company or the board of directors of
any successor to the Company,  provided that any director who was not a director
as of the date  hereof
 
                                      A-1
<PAGE>
 
shall be deemed to be an Incumbent  Director if such director was elected to the
Board  by,  or on the  recommendation  of or with  the  approval  of,  at  least
two-thirds  of the directors who then  qualified as Incumbent  Directors  either
actually or by prior operation of this Section II(a)(iii), unless such election,
recommendation  or approval was the result of an actual or  threatened  election
contest of the type  contemplated  by Regulation  14a-11  promulgated  under the
Exchange Act or any  successor  provision.  Notwithstanding  the  foregoing,  no
Change of Control of the Company  shall be deemed to have  occurred for purposes
of this  Agreement  by reason of any  actions  or events in which the  Executive
participates  in a  capacity  other  than in his  capacity  as an  executive  or
director of the Company.
 
         (b)  TERMINATION  FOR GOOD  REASON.  For purposes of the  Agreement,  a
"Termination  for Good Reason" means a  termination  by the Executive by written
notice given within 90 days after the  occurrence  of the Good Reason  event.  A
notice of Termination  for Good Reason shall  indicate the specific  termination
provision in Section II(c) relied upon and shall set forth in reasonable  detail
the facts and circumstances  claimed to provide a basis for Termination for Good
Reason.  The failure by the  Executive  to set forth in such notice any facts or
circumstances which contribute to the showing of Good Reason shall not waive any
right of Executive  hereunder or preclude the Executive from asserting such fact
or circumstance in enforcing his rights hereunder. The notice of Termination for
Good Reason shall  provide for a date of  termination  not less than 10 nor more
than 60 days after the date such Notice of Termination for Good Reason is given.
 
         (c) GOOD REASON.  For purposes of the  Agreement,  "Good  Reason" shall
mean the occurrence,  without the Executive's express written consent, of any of
the following circumstances, unless such circumstances are fully corrected prior
to the date of  termination  specified  in the  notice of  Termination  for Good
Reason as  contemplated in Section II(b) above:  (i) any material  diminution of
the Executive's positions,  duties or responsibilities hereunder (except in each
case in connection with the termination of the Executive's  employment for Cause
pursuant to Section 8(c) of the Agreement or due to disability or death pursuant
to  Sections  8(a) or 8(b) of the  Agreement,  or  temporarily  as a  result  of
Executive's  illness or other  absence),  or the  assignment to the Executive of
duties or responsibilities  that are inconsistent with the Executive's  position
under the  Agreement  at the time of a Change of  Control;  (ii)  removal of the
Executive from, or the  nonreelection of the Executive to, the officer positions
with the Company  specified in the Agreement;  (iii) relocation of the Company's
principal  executive  offices to a location more than 25 miles from its location
at the time of the  Change of  Control;  (iv)  failure by the  Company,  after a
Change of Control,  (A) to continue any bonus plan,  program or  arrangement  in
which the Executive is entitled to participate  immediately  prior to the Change
of Control  (the  "Bonus  Plans"),  provided  that any such  Bonus  Plans may be
modified  at the  Company's  discretion  from  time to time but  shall be deemed
terminated  if (x) any such plan does not  remain  substantially  in the form in
effect prior to such  modification and (y) if plans providing the Executive with
substantially   similar  benefits  are  not  substituted  therefor  ("Substitute
Plans"),  or (B) to continue the Executive as a  participant  in the Bonus Plans
and  Substitute  Plans on at least the same basis as to potential  amount of the
bonus and substantially the same level of criteria for achievability  thereof as
the Executive  participated in immediately  prior to any change in such plans or
awards,  in accordance  with the Bonus Plans and the Substitute  Plans;  (v) any
material  breach by the Company of any provisions of the Agreement;  (vi) if the
Executive
 
                                      A-2
<PAGE>
 
is on the Board of Directors at the time of a Change of Control, the Executive's
removal from or failure to be reelected to the Board of Directors thereafter; or
(vii) failure of any successor to the Company to promptly acknowledge in writing
the obligations of the Company hereunder.
 
III. PAYMENTS AND BENEFITS. Upon a Change of Control Termination, as provided in
Section I above,  the Company  shall pay or provide the  Executive the following
payments and benefits:
 
         (a) The Company shall pay to the Executive all Accrued Obligations in a
lump sum within five business days after the date of termination.
 
         (b) The Company shall pay to the Executive as severance  pay, not later
than the tenth day following the date of the Executive's  execution and delivery
of the Release required pursuant to Section 8(h) of this Agreement:
 
                  (i)  a lump  sum  in  an amount  equal to  three years  of the
Executive's Base Salary; and
 
                  (ii) a lump sum  payment  in an  amount  equal to three of the
Executive's annual incentive bonuses, such payment to be equal to the greater of
(i) the amount of all incentive  bonuses paid to the  Executive  with respect to
each of the three most recently  completed fiscal years of the Company for which
a bonus has been paid or (ii) the  incentive  bonus paid to the  Executive  with
respect to the two most recently completed fiscal years of the Company for which
a bonus has been paid plus an amount equal to the  Executive's  Target Bonus (as
hereinafter defined); provided, however, that if the Executive has been employed
by the Company for less than three  years,  such  payment  shall be equal to the
greater of (x) the amount of the incentive  bonuses paid to the  Executive  with
respect to the two most recently completed fiscal years of the Company for which
a bonus has been paid plus the Executive's Target Bonus or (y) the amount of the
Executive's Target Bonus multiplied by three. The term "Target Bonus" shall mean
the  incentive  bonus  that  would have been  payable  for the fiscal  year that
includes  the date on which  the  Executive's  employment  terminates  under the
incentive  bonus  program  in  effect as of the date of the  Change of  Control,
assuming that the Executive had been entitled to receive an amount in respect of
such  bonus  based  solely  upon  his  Base  Salary  and the  applicable  target
percentage as of the date of termination (or if greater,  the  Executive's  Base
Salary  as of the date on which  occurred  an event  giving  rise to a Change of
Control Termination), and without regard to actual performance.
 
         (c) The Company shall continue the  participation  of the Executive and
the  Executive's  dependents  for a period  of  three  years  after  the date of
termination  in all health,  medical and accident,  life and other welfare plans
(as defined in Section 3(l) of ERISA),  in which the Executive was participating
immediately  prior to the date of termination,  except for any disability plans,
and shall provide the  Executive  with a leased  automobile  pursuant to Section
2(g) of the Agreement for such period; provided, however, that to the extent the
Company's plans do not permit such continued participation or such participation
would have an adverse tax impact on such plans or on the other  participants  in
such plans, the Company may instead provide  materially  equivalent  benefits to
the  Executive  outside  of such  plans;  provided,  further,  that  under  such
circumstances,  (i) medical
 
                                      A-3
<PAGE>
 
 
insurance  benefits  may be provided by the  Company  paying any COBRA  premiums
(COBRA  coverage,  in any event,  to be measured from the date of termination of
employment) and (ii) if the Company is unable to continue the  Executive's  life
insurance  coverage,  it shall pay the  Executive an amount equal to three times
the  premium  paid  during the year  prior to  termination  or if the  Executive
converts  the  insurance  to an  individual  policy,  the Company  shall pay the
premium for such  insurance for three years.  The Executive  shall complete such
forms  and take  such  physical  examinations  as  reasonably  requested  by the
Company.  To the extent the Executive  incurs any tax  obligation as a result of
the provisions of this paragraph (c) that the Executive  would not have incurred
if the  Executive  remained an employee  of the  Company  and had  continued  to
participate  in the benefit  plans as an employee,  the Company shall pay to the
Executive,  at the time the tax is due,  an amount to cover  such  taxes and the
taxes on the amount paid to cover such taxes.
 
         (d) All outstanding stock options and restricted stock awards that have
been granted to the Executive by the Company at any time but have not yet vested
and  upon  which  vesting  depends  solely  upon  the  passage  of  time,  shall
immediately vest or become nonforfeitable,  as the case may be. In the event the
foregoing sentence becomes applicable,  the Company agrees to cause the Board of
Directors to take all steps necessary to implement the foregoing sentence.
 
         (e) All amounts payable to the Executive upon a Change of Control under
the SERP  and the  Company's  Deferred  Compensation  Plan  shall be paid to the
Executive in accordance with the terms of those plans.
 
         (f) The  Company,  at its expense,  shall  provide the  Executive  with
outplacement  services  at a level  appropriate  for the  most  senior  level of
executive employees through an outplacement firm of the Executive's choice for a
period of up to one year after the date of the Change of Control Termination.
 
         (g)  (i)  In  the  event  that  any   payment,   coverage   or  benefit
(collectively,  the  "Covered  Benefits")  provided  to you by the Company or an
Affiliate  (as  defined  below) is or becomes  subject to the excise tax imposed
under  Section 4999 or any successor  provision of the Internal  Revenue Code of
1986, as amended (the "Code"),  or you incur  interest or penalties with respect
to that excise tax (that excise tax,  together with any interest and  penalties,
are hereinafter collectively referred to as the "Excise Tax"), the Company shall
pay you an additional amount (a "Gross-Up Bonus") at the time or times specified
in Section  III(g)(iii)(z)  below.  The amount of the Gross-Up Bonus shall equal
the  quotient  determined  by dividing  (x) the Excise Tax  attributable  to the
Covered  Benefits by (y) one minus the highest  marginal income tax rate,  where
the term  "highest  marginal  income  tax  rate"  means  the sum of the  highest
combined local, state and federal personal income tax rates (including any state
unemployment  compensation  tax rate,  any surtax  rate as well as the  Medicare
hospital  insurance  tax rate imposed on employees  under the Federal  Insurance
Contributions  Act) as in effect for the  calendar  year to which the Excise Tax
attributable to the Covered Benefits  relates,  provided that in determining the
highest tax rate for federal purposes both the  deductibility of state and local
income  tax  payments  and  the  reduction  in  the  deductibility  of  itemized
deductions  shall be taken into  account;  it being the intention of the parties
hereto that your net after tax position  (after taking into account any interest
or  penalties  imposed  with  respect to such taxes) upon receipt of the
 
                                      A-4
<PAGE>
 
 
Covered Benefits is no less  advantageous to you than the net after tax position
you would have had if Section  4999 of the Code had not been  applicable  to any
portion of the Covered Benefits.
 
                  (ii) All  determinations to be made under this Section III(g),
including the  determination  of whether an Excise Tax is payable and the amount
thereof,   shall  be  made  by  a  law  firm  practicing  in  the  Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania  metropolitan area that is knowledgeable in tax law matters,  which
firm  shall be  selected  and  paid for by the  Company  and  acceptable  to the
Executive.  If tax  counsel's  determinations  are not  finally  accepted by the
Internal  Revenue  Service upon audit,  then  appropriate  adjustments  shall be
computed  (with a Gross Up Bonus,  if applicable) by that tax counsel based upon
the final amount of the Excise Tax so determined.
 
                  (iii) For purposes of this Section III(g):
 
                        (x)   An  "Affiliate" shall  mean any  successor  to the
Company,  any member of an affiliated  group  including the Company (determining
using the  definition in Section 1504 of the Code) or any  entity  that  becomes
a  member of such an affiliated group as a result of the transaction causing the
Change of Control.
 
                        (y)   When determining the amount of the Gross-Up Bonus,
you will be deemed to have otherwise  allowable  deductions  for  federal, state
and  local  tax  purposes  at least equal  to those  disallowed  because  of the
inclusion of the Gross-Up Bonus in your adjusted gross income.
 
                        (z)   The portion of the Gross-Up Bonus  attributable to
a Covered  Benefit shall be paid to you  within 10  business  days following the
provision to you of the Covered  Benefit. In the event that the amount of Excise
Tax due exceeds the amount of Excise Tax determined  by tax counsel, the Company
shall pay you an additional Gross-Up Bonus in respect of that excess at the time
that the  amount of  the excess is determined  under Section III(g)(ii).  In the
event  the  amount of  Excise Tax  due  is  less than  the amount of  Excise Tax
determined by tax counsel, you shall repay the Company the portion of the Gross-
Up  Bonus  attributable thereto at the  time that the amount of the reduction in
Excise Tax is  determined under Section III(g)(ii);  provided,  however, that if
any portion of  the amount  you must repay to  the Company  has been paid to any
federal,  state or local tax authority,  your  repayment  of that portion  shall
be  postponed  until  the tax authority has  actually  refunded or credited that
amount to you.
 
         (h) Upon the occurrence of a Change of Control, if the Company fails to
perform any of its obligations  under this Agreement or the Company or any other
person  asserts  the  invalidity  of any  provision  of this  Agreement  and the
Executive  incurs any costs in  successfully  enforcing or defending  any of the
provisions of this Agreement, including legal fees and expenses and court costs,
the Company shall reimburse the Executive for all such costs incurred by him.