1. Johnson, Cheryl BSN, RN

Article Content

I was disappointed to see a Wal-Mart ad on the back cover of the March issue. It's offensive that the "Official Journal of the American Nurses Association" sold such prominent advertising space to an antiunion corporation. More than 100,000 union nurses in the United American Nurses receive this journal as part of their membership. I speak for them when I protest Wal-Mart's appearance in AJN.


Wal-Mart is staunchly anti-union. After workers at a store in Canada voted to join the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Wal-Mart said the store would be closed in May. 1 And when the UFCW organized meat cutters at a store in Texas, the company eliminated all meat-cutting jobs nationwide rather than negotiate. 2


And Wal-Mart discriminates against women. Last year, a federal judge certified a sexual-discrimination class action against Wal-Mart on behalf of more than 1 million current and former female employees, according to the UFCW; despite the fact that women make up 72% of Wal-Mart's hourly workforce, only 15% are store managers. 3


Also, according to an AFL-CIO report, tens of thousands of Wal-Mart workers get health insurance from their spouses' plans or the government, costing other employers and taxpayers, as well as driving up health care costs for the community. 4 In California, Wal-Mart workers rely on state taxpayers for about $32 million annually in health care. 5


Many union members and women read AJN. Why slap them in the face?


Cheryl Johnson, BSN, RN


Brighton, MI




1. Struck D. Wal-Mart leaves bitter chill. Quebec store closes after vote to unionize. Washington Post 2005 April 14; E1. [Context Link]


2. Democratic Staff of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, U.S. House of Representatives. Everyday low wages: the hidden price we all pay for Wal-Mart. 2004. [Context Link]


3. United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. Wal-Martization of women's jobs. 2005. [Context Link]


4. AFL-CIO. Wal-Mart: an example of why workers remain uninsured and underinsured. 2003. [Context Link]


5. Dube A, Jacobs K. Hidden costs of Wal-Mart jobs: use of safety net programs by Wal-Mart workers in California. 2004. [Context Link]