My Dad got laid off a few months ago and is still looking for a new position. We had a long visit a few weeks before he was let go, and one of the things we spoke about is how he grew up hearing his father and uncles hating unions, bashing them constantly. They're all from Nova Scotia and are all blue collar with a tinge of white for the schoolteachers. Naturally, Dad says he also grew up disliking unions (to a lesser degree them they), and never saw their benefit. Of course, until 2009 he was, for 25 years, a self-employed owner of a two-man carpentry business and unions never really affected him. This changed when the economy slumped and work dried up. He took a few different jobs as supervisor, surveyor, safety guy and so on, none of them unionized.
As we spoke that day, he told me how his views on unions had changed now that he was an non-unionized employee with little rights or bargaining power. He felt that the attitude in the workplace would be more positive and supportive if people were invested in a union together, and they felt that someone had their backs. Instead, apathy, divisiveness, and mistrust coloured the business' operations, and sure enough people started getting the axe within weeks of our conversation.
For his part, he walked in on a Friday, was cornered in a meeting room, and let go on the spot. This is to say nothing of the intense care requirements my disabled mother has at home, and his employer knew this.
I don't know where I'm really going with this, but typing it out helped me to process my frustration and helplessness, watching my father by ground down by capitalism's shortcomings.
We both live in Alberta, Canada, for information's sake.