Shouldn't a company not completely abuse it's workforce? Shouldn't there be a better alternative?
The labor movement was born out of gross negligence, unsafe conditions, and abuse. It served a good purpose and just like any system there are things that I disagree with completely. That plant sounds like the management totally let it go.
For every one bullshit school teacher that's given up and can't be fired because of a union, there are a 100 busting their ass to make sure their underfunded school system can stay afloat.
The logical business perspective is a bottom line. Workers health and injuries on the job only work to lower said bottom line.
As someone living in a socialist haven, I can say the idea of workers unions and someone the right employees have are great, but it has become completely side tracked and the unions are way to powerful.
The city councils and government used to hire everyone on tenure like contracts basically making everyone from gartners to CEO's unfireable. I have a family member who is employed on a contract like that and he and all his colleagues basically worked like this for years 4:30 someone on rotation showed up stamped everyone in, went back home and slept to 7:00-7:30 and showed up to work at 8:00, 10:00 hour long breakfast break, 12:00 hour long lunch, 2-2:30 nap, 3:00 go home/ go work for your self. It stopped when the boss set up cameras after 10ish years and started threatening with firing them for fraud.
Minimum wage is a double edge sword as it will eventually lead to mass layoffs.