Saint John — The consumer product giant Unilever announced earlier this week that it will be closing its call centre in Saint John, and residents are concerned over how this will affect the Port City.
Unilever, which sells a wide range of products from Vaseline to margarine, is perhaps best known for its soap and personal care products such as Axe and Dove. These products are ubiquitous as key in maintaining a healthy complexion and smelling like a shirtless cowboy on the dance floor, but it is this same consumer association that has Saint John residents concerned.
“I heard for years that the Unilever people give their employees free samples of soap and deodorant spray,” said uptown resident Charline Fitzhenry. “They really need to freshen themselves up, you know, because after sitting in front of a computer for 12 hours eating Storm Chips and drinking energy drinks, those call centre folks get really rank. And this city already smells to high heavens. Imagine how much worse it could get if those sweaty phone jockeys were let loose!”
Unilever representatives were quick to backpedal on the gravity of the closure announcement, assuring employees and the public alike that when the company self-servingly pulls out of the city, it will provide Unilever products as part of a compensation package for its former workers.
“We have a truckload of off-date Lipton Iced Tea, 150 tubs of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, dozens of bars of soap and a year’s supply of slightly expired Hellman’s mayonnaise.”