There was an article under the heading of "Political Intelligence" at Boston.com, about a businessman who is campaigning for a so-called "right to work" bill. Here's the link: http://www.boston.com/Boston/politicalintelligence/2011/08/union-protests-company-owner-who-backs-right-work-bill/L2nrR9evkjGaptw1b1sCsM/index.html
and here's my response:
First, only two of the union leaders' statements were published, and one of them was, "...there’s going to be a price to pay for that,” said Kurt Ehrenberg,..." I would interpret that as a threat of something more than peaceful protests. There is also a reference to the incident when 300 unionists (to use a 19th century term) swamped a Legislative hearing last year. Contemporary reports of that incident described it as very nearly violent, and most emphatically intimidating.
Now this is a bit more abstract: As the law reads right now, the unions can not force people to join them, but they CAN force people to pay dues, whether or not they are members of the union. In my opinion, any defense of such a practice, no matter how eloquent or civil, is obscene and should be punishable by imprisonment, at least.
Consider this - which I do not mean to be a definitive argument, but merely an example: Telling people what they can eat, what they do with their spare time, or what kind of art they may hang in their homes would violate any number of articles of the Constitution, not to mention basic laws of human decency. So the union is allowed to tell people, "You know that 20 bucks a month you were going to use to take your wife to dinner, or put in your vacation fund, or decorate your home? Well, screw you. Give it to us."
Now consider this: what if it weren't a government-sanctified union, but a street thug, demanding dane geld? I believe a citizen would be justified in setting the law on that thug, and if it turned out the law were in collusion with the thug, I believe a bit of gun play would be fully justified.
In this particular case, while the immediate behavior of the union HINTED at thuggery, their moral principles are, as they say, "in the tank" for thuggery.