A generation ago, non-union workers often welcomed news of improved wages and benefits for unionized employees, recognizing that a rising tide lifts all boats. But ... at a time of sacrifice and insecurity, many would prefer to sink their neighbor's slightly bigger boat while wistfully hoping for a glance at a yacht in a gated marina. (Source)
There are people who romanticize unions and the labor movement. I don't--there's a lot about the empirical performance of organized labor that really stinks. But we're involved in a power game, and all the power is with Big Money, and they realize that the only organized force that still has the financial resources to oppose them is the unions.
It's one thing to oppose certain policies that unions support; it's another thing to seek to destroy them. And it should be clear that the Republicans and their backers are out to destroy them. They start with the public service unions, because they're more vulnerable with regard to public opinion, and if they succeed there, they'll come after every other union.
We're in a class war, and many Americans just don't want to believe it because it sounds so "leftist" or "extremist", but it's being waged by Big Money, and Big Money is quite happy to do so without any organized opposition, and the longer most Americans think there's no war going on, the longer they'll stay unorganized. And in the meanwhile the unions are the only organized opposition it has to deal with.
There's room for legitimate debate about particular policies that unions support, but at the same time we cannot lose sight of the larger picture. We're involved in a war here; the time for splitting hairs is behind us, and so at a very crude level it's coming down to a fundamental question: Whose side are you on?