You have to remember the reason for unions. When management is mistreating its workers, then the workers react by forming or joining unions. A union not a godsend, it costs money to be a member and a number restrictions are placed on the member as well as management.
I'm sure there are companies that mistreat workers and that is a good reason for unions.
I think a more common reason would simply how big a company is. If you, as a worker, are just a number, then THAT is probably a better reason for union representation.
I've always avoided large companies for this very reason. I prefer to work for companies where I know the owners/management team personally. If that's not an option, then I don't accept their offer.
I'm very lucky in that I've always been in a position to react like that. I'm sure there are folks that can't do that, and I feel for them.
I would rather my work, contributions, and record speak for me when it comes time for a review/raise.
Your mileage may vary.
Alternatively, the ones with brains, ambition and foresight quit and go elsewhere.
It seems to me that if a machinists union would have a similar independent apprenticeship program it would be pretty valuable. Maybe there is such a thing?
The construction unions here are run by outlaw bikers as one of their many criminal enterprises.