archive / reportage / info





soap factory / Ceccano / 1928 - 1998 / 2008


Annunziatas' soap business began in 1880 when Luigi Annunziata opened a small shop in Sora, near Frosinone. His "Due Tigri" soap was roughly made by mixing pork fat with caustic soda. Fifty years later such a business was developed on the industrial scale by Luigi's son Antonio, who established a factory in Ceccano. The key-product of the newborn company was "Scala" laundry soap, widely used by housewives during the Italian economic miracle. During the 1960s the production of Scala soap reached the level of 180000 t/y. From the late 1970s the company began to diversify, approaching the washing powders, paper manufacturing and packaging businesses, while opening new factories in the surroundings. During the following decade the old laundry soap manufacturing activity - which was concentrated in the Ceccano plant - revealed its inadequacy as the market was clearly oriented towards liquid soaps. In the early 1990s it was decided to avoid a plant restructuring because of large debts piled by the company. The closure took place in 1998.



However, the factory of Ceccano is sadly remember for a tragedy occurred in the spring of 1962. The factory was ruled without the application of the collective agreement and workers began to ask for it in the late 1950s. The owner replied with the dismissal of several workers. A strike was then declared. The factory was occupied, and production suspended. Outside the situation was extremely nervous, with police often clashing with workers and supporting citizens. On the 28th of May a young worker, Luigi Mastrogiacomo, was killed and others deadly injured. A few days later the agreement was signed, thanks to the involvement of the national government.