Bob Carnegie’s interview in Solidarity 530 Tackling the union bureaucracies is instructive for understanding trade unions in the current period.
As Bob says, some of the problems are not that new, but I was reminded strongly of the situation in the railway industry in Britain.
The overwhelming majority of organised train drivers in Britain are members of Aslef, a union with membership open only to employees responsible for the “operation of trains”. The industrial union on the job, the RMT, has members
across the grades, cleaners, station staff, engineers, back office staff etc.