The British-Dutch company wants to ditch its London HQ.
What it means: Even if you haven’t heard of Unilever, you probably know the stuff it sells, like Dove soap, Hellman’s mayonnaise and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (ugh, now we’re hungry). It’s a huge company with offices all over the world, but for ages one of its two HQs has been here in London (the other one is in Rotterdam).
Unilever is now saying that this dual-HQ thing is too complicated and it wants to shut the British one. Most people think that’s because of Brexit, although the company says it’s absolutely definitely not, and omg they can’t even believe we’d all think that, the timing is just a coincidence, gawd.
If Unilever leaves Britain we'll still be able to buy their deodorants and ice creams, but the company will no longer be considered a British business. That means it’ll be booted off the FTSE 100, which is a list of the UK’s most valuable companies.
You might not care about that (hey, it’s all good as long as we can still get our Chunky Monkey ice cream fix, right?) but lots of Unilever shareholders (thems the people who own the company) are pretty pissed off about it because many of them have self-imposed rules forbidding them from owning shares in companies that aren't in the FTSE 100.
Shareholders get to vote on big company decisions like moving HQs, so if enough of them say no, they can force Unilever to stay here. #Drama
It’s not just about what you do, it’s where you do it. Workplaces can create and cut jobs, borrow money and interact with the financial market, and buy and sell products from other workplaces, affecting their financial situations. There’s also the question of whether our workplaces should be taking care of us, or whether that’s the government’s job…