A thoughtful treatise with some good points. Hate to be the fly in the ointment, but I've been around a long time. When a judge tried to get me fired for reporting on the suicide death of a black girl he put in prison unfairly, the Newspaper Guild (our union) saved my job. But I was in the crosshairs and decided to go to work for a public employee union whose efforts to end patronage in my state impressed me.
Whereupon I discovered the most totalitarian of bosses were union presidents and top dogs. They used every trick they'd learned from corporate and bureaucratic power-brokers to lean on their own staffs. Being in PR, I still was represented by the Guild. The union bosses broke the Guild and replaced it with an in-house phony union. The president's hatchet man said of my promised transfer to California--supposedly still protected by a negotiated settlement with the departing Guild: "We have to move you there but we don't have to keep you. Ask your wife how she'd feel arriving in LA, baby in belly and husband without a job."
Years later my grown son--the baby to which he referred--was a local president and shop steward, singled out for advanced training. His observation was keen: for unions, the profit motive is check-off cards, the more employees you sign, the larger you grow--and the more heavily you can lobby in DC for items on your own agenda--forget the workers.
If you are very good, you can unseat the powers in the AFL CIO and assume the throne yourself. Have your own mistress-equipped hideaway in Hawaii. Bloviate publicly about Nixon dirty tricks--while commanding the same kind of dirty tricks against competing unions or maverick locals.
I know--the dictator dictated dirty tricks to me by phone from his cabana. One I still regret: a phony "Canuck letter" trashing the reputation of a local president who annoyed His Nibs. With no job security, baby on the way, I wrote the letter. It worked as planned. Up to and including death threats from workers who felt betrayed--and would have been, if the letter was real.
Dictators are not confined to corporate board rooms. Other than this quibble, I concur in your assessment. Local worker ownership is the key; they don't need "international" overlords who cut private deals with management behind their backs.
The company supplying my nightly oxygen is worker owned. Never had better customer service. They even show up weekends if the concentrator goes on the fritz. You're on the right beam--just keep an eye on union oligarchs.