Even at the height of union power, though, the unions weren't the only option workers had. When the union wouldn't authorize a strike, the workers held one anyway. When the companies still wouldn't talk turkey, the workers occupied their workplaces, making it impossible for scabs to be brought in. Confrontational, high-stakes tactics like those of the Occupy movement are the only tool that can possibly win some leverage back for the American worker.
We're past the point of standing politely in picket lines and being ignored. That kind of “free speech” is toothless- that's the only reason they allow it. We need to regain that fighting spirit that won the eight-hour workday (now a thing of the past for too many workers), the right to organize, and middle-class wages for working people (now a thing of the past for most of us).
If you just go to work every day and collect your paycheck, confident that things will always be the same, you're in for a surprise one of these days. When will enough be enough for you- when the cost of your health insurance reaches the point where you just can't pay it? When the next round of budget cuts takes you with it? When you go to look for a new job only to be told that the unemployed need not apply?