Now hold on a sec. Talking about broad brushes. I am NOT nor trying to imply unions are the only cause. I will say they are a contributing factor to automotive manufacturing woes.
Case in point: A local textile plant was up for contract renewal. The union reps and the job stewards went in for negotiations. The job stewards were asked to leave before the negotiations could continue. What happened afterwards, was a bit of a mystery, but they lost wages, gave up benefits and the plant manager happened to be in a new vehicle the following month. Rumors flew and finally, when the plant closed in the early '90's, one of the job stewards confessed that money was ultimately passed from the company to the union reps, the union reps to the plant manager and to them. It was, of course, too late to prosecute.
Yes, that happens, but it is NOT THE NORM. Had the job steward simply called the National office and done his job, or if the Company Representatives had done their job and walked away from the corrupt negotiations the problem would not have existed. Why was your example just a union corruption? Sounds like EVERYONE was in on that scheme.
What I often see is comments that "the problem with XXX is the Union". You have been as guilty as others that just don't like them. But much of the perception is from the past. Even your example is nearly 20 years old [and I can give examples that would keep you awake at night, unfortunately].
My point in this entire conversation is that, while unions have, in the past been a problem and taken advantage of different industries [you've seen my posts on UAW and USA in the 60s and 70s] the unions of today are a much different breed and do not impede commerce. Most, in fact are taking up some levels of management roles, freeing management folks to do the job of managing production and design and marketing, allowing hiring/firing/HR stuff to be left to the folks doing the work.