It's too bad your union(s) were crappy, Alan.
Unions should STILL have a place today, they are overall a good thing. Even non-union companies have better benefits because of unions.
Unions have given you a 40 hr work week. Paid vacation. Overtime pay. Representation and a grievance process. Should I go on?
I spent 20 of my 29 years as a shop steward. I not only paid my dues I represented and defended my union brothers both right and wrong. I got zero compensation for this "extra". Management sometimes treated me improperly, sometimes my co-workers did the same. I didn't care, somebody needed to be the shop steward, and our shop was better for it. No lunches with management, that was verboten in our local.
You are your union. I was taught to step up and do my part if nobody else would by my Dad, a PEF shop steward for the NYS DOT. He was a highway engineer.
Communications Workers of America local 1120 for me.