One of the biggest problems with unions is they don't know when to stop asking for more. They think every time they go into negotiations they have to get "x" amount more for their members. That's fine if your company's product is selling good. Seems to me the market for Twinkies has gone the other direction, and the bakers union didn't know when to stop.
P.S. I went for 10 years with no raises. I too took cuts in pay and paid more over the years for my health insurance. I knew there was nowhere else to go and was thankful for what I had.