My daughter shared this article, and it focused my thoughts on
the state of unions (and the The State of the Union) in 2012.  My reply:  


Unions have fallen victim to their failures, not their successes.  They have been short sighted, and failed to work cooperatively with management to build competitive enterprises that can compete against foreign workforces, while maintaining decent living conditions at home. 
I blame a lack of union leadership.  My father and mother, your grandparents, were proud union members, and worked very hard for working people to provide humane working conditions, safety, decent pay, and benefits.  Those are still worthy goals, but the playing field changed, and union leadership did not adapt.