Great history there from Amity Schlaes. By and large I have no problem with private sector unions though I will admit that under 0bongo they have become vile and too powerful. But before 0bongo it has always been the public sector unions and workers I despise as they became extreme tax eating hogs that want normal taxpayers to be their slaves, over taxing them (with the connivance of corrupt hacks) to pay themseves outlandish salaries/pensions/benefits into perpetuity.
Taxpayers have no choice in this matter BUT a taxpayer can always refuse to buy products from a company with workers it does not like. GM is a good example right now. With 0bongo’s crucial help, that union extorted and stole from the taxpayers. But you can respond by not buying a GM vehical
Yes, the great thing about private / free market economy is usually a competition and choices - the companies can't force you buy something (unless they are government approved monopolies, like utilities). They have to compete for your business, and make you want to buy their products, provide you with incentives such as price, convenience and quality - to entice your interest in the product or service in the first place, and then to entice you to choose their product or service over their competitors.
Governments don't have to compete - they are the monopoly, and can force you to pay for their "services" or simply subsidize them and constituency of their choice in the form of taxes and fees. Governments have never been designed or meant to provide more and better quality choices at lower unsubsidized price than a private company, because government IS the overhead. No wonder there is no incentive to provide good service, and why there is so much corruption in government - also why socialist societies / countries / industries are the most corrupt - the only way to advance or improve one's standard of living is through the government bureaucracy.
More government = more cronyism = more corruption. Cronyism is the only way of life in order to survive in socialist society. That's what Democrats / liberals / progressives / Third Way politicians understand and why they strive for unionization within capitalist free market private enterprise system - it is one of the backdoor ways to accomplish the establishment of the crony socialism system.