Kevin Drum on unions (emphasis in the original):
Unions have lots of pathologies: they can get entranced by implementing insane work rules, they can get co-opted by other political actors, and they can end up fighting progress on social issues, just to name a few. But they fight for economic egalitarianism, and they're the only institution in history that's ever done that successfully on a sustained basis. That's what makes them so indispensable to liberalism and that's what makes them the sworn enemies of conservatism.
You just can't pull labor and full employment apart. It's not a matter of emphasis. A country without a strong labor movement is almost inevitably one in which economic and political power is overwhelmingly on the side of business interests and rich people, and that means you're not going to have sustained full employment because that's not what business interests and rich people want. It's all about power, baby, power.
H/t to Steve Hynd in a post that's also worth reading.
And in the interest of full disclosure: I suppose I could follow this up with a rousing chorus of You don't get me I'm part of the union but I'm actually not. For a brief time in the eighties I worked for the federal government and paid dues to the PSAC without being a full member — I was a temporary employee or what was colloquially known as a casual. Other than that I've never been a member of a union.