Scottsdale, ARIZONA—The Dial Corporation, a subsidiary of Henkel International and producer of the beloved Twenty Mule Team Borax brand, will slice a critical division of its workforce in half, according to sources close to the company. The sources, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the information, claim Dial has been devastated by a “perfect storm” of international credit woes, souring consumer confidence, and high grain prices leading to skyrocketing costs for mule feed.
Sources inside the layoff planning produced photos of the brainstorming process. One such photo, above, shows executives concepting a new version of the brand with its diminished workforce.
By the company’s own numbers, sales for the 100-year-old brand of borax detergent have been dim. But few were expecting such a sweeping corporate response. Neither Dial nor parent company Henkel North America offered comment. A hastily produced press release offered no insight, except to laud “our wonderful mules” and how Borax would never be the same without them. Cryptically, the press release noted that “our competitors on the whole have much fewer mules, some of them no mules at all.”
It was not immediately clear which mules would be let go, or if there would be a severance package. Henkel employs over 8,000 people in North America alone, at least some of them presumably wondering if they would be sharing the 10 mules’ fate.
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