But what they resent is that they don't enjoy those advantages. In the AFSCME scenario (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees), we usually had 50% or less of labor in membership. So management was able to play hard ball more than they would have with the UAW or the UMW, for example. Many non-union employees would say why join the union and pay dues when they got the same pay and benefits. That lasted just as long as it took management to ignore a greivance or to take disciplinary action. Then we'd get a slight increase in membership, because we had stewards who were able to attend disciplinary or grievance hearings with the employee, and the union retained attorneys. The working conditions and pay and benefits of all American workers long benefited from unions, even in businesses whose employees were not "unionized," because those employers had to compete for labor with union jobs. As i've already pointed out, and Cyclo also took notice of, there has been a concerted anti-union propaganda campaign in operation for decades. (EDIT: on the three occasions when we did walk, because almost all trades and employees of the physical plants were
union, we got resolution quickly--the Teamsters would never cross our picket lines, and management tended to cave pretty quickly. We weren't trying to beat up on them, just to get them to negotiate in good faith.)
I long worked, successfully, as a free-lance small business manager. I was able to show employers again and again that well-paid employees with at least a modicum of benefits were worth far more in terms of productivity than a dissatisfied crew. I also used what i had learned as a union steward to craft employment rules and grievance and discipline procedures for them. The reliable employees don't resent action taken against goldbricks, so long as you follow stated policies step by step. We always did, and we always successfully rid ourselves of goldbricks without exposing ourselves legally. Every policy i advised and wrote was based on negotiated union contracts of which i knew.
If most Americans don't like unions (something i seriously doubt--to me that simply reeks of conservative political propaganda), it's probably because they don't realize how much they owe unions for the relatively decent working conditions they enjoy.