When talking of the fact that union wages are higher than non-union wages, that can also mean the products those companies produce will cost more than products made by non-union companies. Isn't that part of he problem with why jobs then go overseas ... because even though Americans might prefer to buy American-made products, they opt for foreign-made products due to price combined with quality. If the US-made product is superior, and the price is within reason v. the foreign-made product, it will still be competitive in the market.
There is a market for higher quality goods. Toyota cars are competitive, even though often more expensive, due to their perceived durability. US-made cars lost their perceived quality over time. That's one example, and certainly not perfect, as more recently even Toyota has had quality-control issues it would appear.
It is often cited that American workers are among the most productive workers in the world. I wouldn't dispute this. If we start there, then we might also assume they work hard to do a good job at what they do. Would it not follow that US products would then have a high quality? Is it the companies who manage the business who use methods that produce lower quality for their price point, and the workers simply do what they are told to do, even if it means producing an inferior product?
I tend to think that smaller companies are more likely to use their workers' ingenuity in improving product quality or features. Large companies seem to have many layers between the worker and where the management decisions are made, and they lose the ability to tap into the workers' experience with the systems and materials. Can large unions similarly lose touch with their worker members?
Locally, we have an Amazon distribution center. It made headlines in the local papers when workers were suffering through the summer in an incredibly hot building. There was public pressure for Amazon to improve its working conditions.
I'd be interested in hearing the varied opinions on this.