One of the Union's primary functions is to provide an entity "in house" to hold the company accountable to labor and safety laws without fear of retribution from management.
Where there is a Union, it is impossible to make compliance problems "go away" by firing individuals.
The primary function of a union is to collect union dues and contribute to democratic campaigns.
You have got to be kidding! Unions are a slim step above organized crime! And you actually think a union steward would not submit a name to the boss to make that name go away in the monthly RIF! Unions are a collective brotherhood running a vast protection racket on the theory that the company pays protection or the Union puts the company out of business. If the Mafia tries to do that they are prosecuted, but when a Union thug with a collective bargaining card does that he has your full support!?
Perhaps way back in 1885, Sam Gompers' efforts did a modicum of good in the face of the involuntary servitude brought by salaries paid in scrip at Company stores instead of in real Greenbacks, or in the face of dangerous workrooms in dark and dirty factories. Yet the reality was in the 19th century virtually everyone had to toil hard to survive in a time of no modern conveniences such as refrigeration or mechanization. The Garment Workers Union did not prevent 141 workers from dying in the Triangle Shirtwaist Company Factory Fire in 1911. Even in Gompers' time the Trade Unionism was anti-capitalist and still is now.
The most pitiful myth is that the Union protects workers from the company. When a union takes control of a workforce, in less time than it takes to say "Union card-check bill", the next question should be, WHO WILL PROTECT THE WORKERS FROM THE UNION?! There are a myriad of instances of loyal individual union workers finding themselves railroaded as scapegoats by their union leader onto the unemployment lines or even blackballed for not fitting into the personality cult of the Shop steward. The Union bosses are much more to be feared than any company official.
That is one of the biggest problems with unions. Incompetent workers are shielded and protected. Worthless workers are difficult to get rid of. Good workers are discouraged from high production to keep expectations low. The overall effect is a less efficient and competitive company.
Unions are a socialist weapon and decades of union strong-arming has created an atmosphere of unrealistic high wages for unskilled work. Great for the low-skilled and incompetent union workers, not so good for good union workers, certainly bad for America. There is no free lunch, the piper must be paid; ask General Motors.
Now that a world-wide economy is established whether we like it or not, companies can go elsewhere to escape union-imposed burdens and be competitive, while you union-lovers whine about multi-national corporations being the problem, take a closer look at yourselves, you caused it.