I’m not a student of political science, but I did grow up in a small town with one main employer, and several unions. Strikes were an annual occurrence, and touched the lives and livelihoods of everyone I knew. I had family members on both sides (management and union). I have stories, is what I’m saying. But overall IMO, the existence of the unions made the whole town and industry better. Unions are, by design, powerful organizations. Humans being humans, that means that the powers of these organizations will be used unwisely, corrupted or abused. But the same is true of the organizations that utilize labour.
IMO, the fundamental need here is to have some power effectively represent the needs of labour. This clearly didn’t happen with Telltale. While I can sympathize with the feeling that unions aren’t perfect, they are better than a situation where labour can be simply discarded in this manner without consequence. Effective representation at the government level is an option, but that is unlikely to happen so long as employers are better able to exercise influence over governments than labour. Labour Unions, traditionally have been a major player in encoding basic labour standards in law, like in Canada.
I’m not sure I buy the idea that, within the existing governmental and economic structure in the US, that there is something other than a union that can exert the power to create the kind of change needed. I feel that the inevitable frictions that having unions have are worth the desired outcome, and are minor in comparison with the consequences of not having labour effectively advocated for. Maybe crowdswarmed political activism in a Doctorow-esqe future could do it, but in my mind that’s basically Just-In-Time Union formation.