Management isn't helpless, but unions are, at very best, an unnecessary pain in the ass. It is hard enough to run a long-term stable business without unions. Much more difficult with them - as General Motors, Chrysler, the former U.S. steel and textile producers discovered.
Yes, for some employers, it's harder to run their businesses with unions than without them. It is also, I would add, harder to run a business with safety regulations, child labor laws, minimum pay and maximum hour regulations, workers' compensation laws, and anti-discrimination rules in force. Indeed, it is a pain in the ass that we can't send pre-teens into the mines for fourteen hours a day at a wage of $1.00, and I weep for the employers who have to put up with such unreasonable impositions.
Cheap shots with feigned irony that has little to do with the situation before us.
We do have extensive workplace safety laws and liability; worker's comp.; child labor laws and all the rest. So these issues are no longer associated with the need for or potential benefit of unions. In terms of operating the businesses that exist today unions are, in fact, much more of a hindrance than a benefit to both workers and the management of the companies that are infested with them. Indeed the facts that private sector unionization has been steadily declining, both in absolute & relative terms, for almost forty years, and that the great majority of union attempts to organize new companies and industries have failed testifies eloquently to this proposition.
That, of course is why labor's chief political legislative goal with the Obama adminisstration was for "card check" -- a euphamism for their proposed abolishment of secret votes of the workers and majority rule for union organizing efforts, and replacement with a system in which union thugs collect survey "cards" from a sample of workers, and the issue is decided based on the majority of the sample (as opposed to all the employees). This, of course would be open season for the fraud and intimidation which has long characterized union organizing campaigns.
More to the point here is the fact that the great majority of labor union members across the country are employees of the Federal, state or local governments, not private sector enployers. The truth is none of the ancient scare stories about the oppressive effects of union - free management apply to them. This has created an entirely new and harmful element of political action in which the paid representatives of the employees of government continue to use large and largely unearned revenue streams to manipulate legislators into actions contrary to the public interest. This works to diminish the effective authority of elected governors, councilmembers, etc. in carrying out their duties in the public interest. These indeed are the issues before the voters in Wisconsin (the former home of modern American "progressive" politics), Ohio, New Jersey and other states. All the other rhetoric, including Joe's tort lawyer theatrics are a deliberate distraction.