Iconic factory to close after 125 years of business – Laying off 118 employees in the process
The St. Bernard Soap Company, a legacy producer of bar soap for over 125 years, has announced its permanent closure, bringing further significant job losses to the region. This follows significant employee reductions in December 2023, where roughly half the workforce was laid off.
Sean Witt, Vice President of the union representing St. Bernard Soap Company employees, confirmed the news after a meeting on Wednesday morning. The closure, expected to occur within at least 60 days, is projected to impact approximately 118 union members.
This latest announcement comes on the heels of a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) letter issued in October 2023, foreshadowing the potential layoff of at least 153 employees. At the time, the company’s website indicated a total workforce of over 250 people.
The closure marks a significant shift in the history of the St. Bernard Soap Company, which, since its establishment by Procter & Gamble in 1886, has continuously produced bar soap on the site. However, declining popularity of bar soap in favor of liquid body wash has placed significant pressure on the company’s operations.
The news of the permanent closure and associated job losses is expected to have a considerable impact on the Cincinnati community. We can expect further details regarding the timeline, transition plan, and support resources for affected employees in the coming days.