I too work in a field where unions were uncommon for a long time. Typically you’re either self-employed or have freely negotiated compensation from your employer. This only works to your advantage, if you have any set of assets (skills, experience, contacts etc.) that puts you in a comfortable place to negotiate. With time the half-life of specialist skills got lower and lower. On the one side you have enterprises who need to stay ahead in an ever accelerating race of competition - on the other side you have more and more people pressing into these kinds of jobs/fields, because they promise better than average payment.
Now, there are people who are unionizing. The reason is simply that without having any kind of leverage, the density of work accelerates at a level that devalues your skills faster than most people can pick them up. The more “workers” (actually everyone who has to work for money) compete with each other, the faster this goes. It’s good for the companies, but creates the usual problems for many of the workers, despite them being highly-skilled individuals, used to work high loads at high speeds with high responsibility and high complexity.
The market forces, that you are speaking about, are not some half-worldly, mystical thing, they can be named. Basically it’s the force of companies on the one side and people who have to work on the other side - give or take. Of course also companies against each other and workers against each other as well. The companies organize, despite their competition. You’re free to not organize, but that leaves you at a much weaker negotiating position. You have to hope that your skills stay valuable long enough and that’s it. The moment the competition amongst workers in your field rises enough or progress devalues your skills faster than you can evolve, you’ve lost all negotiating power. You are of course free to do this, but why would you self-lessly let go of an opportunity to be in a stronger position?
Of course strikes are often about money, why not? Running a company is about money too or do you think the enterprise would pay you anything, just because they like you so much? It’s all about money. Since single individual people who have to work for money do not have the same negotiating power as companies who do have capital, they try to increase their power by organizing. Companies organize as well and they’re certainly not ashamed of it
Unions are not some revolutionary thing - they’re just the reasonable insight of working people, that they’re better off seeking strength in the group than heading for burn-out or minimum wage. Of course the propaganda of companies is strong and so many working people believe that it’s in their own best interest to not unionize. Fake news, that’s all that is in most of the cases.
About the burger flippers, I don’t know. What if - theoretically - the people who work in such jobs, would stop working unless they get +100% more money? Tell you what, in the end, they would get it. Them acting together would increase their part of the market force. People have to eat, take the subway, want their toilets clean, their houses safe and all of that. Highly specialized fields like mine could realistically not exist without loads of people doing “simple” jobs.
While it’s probably fun for some people to watch the super-rich living their super-rich lifes on television, it would be more fun for me, if I knew that everybodies job pays well enough to allow them things that I’d consider pretty normal things: safety, security, a house, a family, a car, holidays, good food, gadgets, hobbies, education, entertainment, health insurance, pension and so on. The truth is that the people who don’t organize are somewhat responsible for their own demise. Yes sure, there is this systemic unemployment which kind of ensures someone else will take up the “simple” job in case people strike and if that doesn’t work there is always the option to let in a few illegalized migrants who’ll work twice as hard for half as much. These difficulties are a given - the decision to be as strongly positioned as possible within the market forces, is not a given. It’s a decision.
One more thing to taxes: the problem with no or very low taxes, is that the state embodies the general interest of companies. The state is basically the union for companies. They often don’t like it, because they have to pay membership fee aka taxes, but without the state collecting these taxes, companies could not exist. Not to forget that most taxes are paid by workers, not by companies, but anyhow. Without the state subsidizing or plainly financing public infrastructure, anything related to traffic - from streets to fuel to airports -, electricity, communication networks, police, military and all kinds of other things - there would simply be no base of operations for any company. Taxes are already low, probably lower than good in the long run. In the short run, companies are happy to find tax breaks because it increases their immediate profit. In the long run, it hurts them. That’s why the state, as the union every company is member of (against their will), does the reasonable thing and ensures long-term profit for homegrown companies.
Now, of course workers can take some influence on the state as well. For instance they can argue, that tax money that comes directly from the profits they’re making for their employers, is used for hospitals and schools rather than measures that only increase companies profits. And yes, there are many working people who don’t think like that and rage about public healthcare and such (while not raging about subsidizing banks). That’s okay. They can do it. It only works though, because other people put up at least some pressure that guarantees a minimum of public infrastructure and safety. As said before, the people who deny solidarity as a rational and reasonable concept, can only do this based on other people having their backs.
That’s why I’d rather see some country give in to these cries of “everyone for themselves”, because it would make it so blatanly visible what happens if everybody would follow that same logic. The country would be ripped apart in a matter of a few years and that would be it.
In EVE regarding the small gang content this is similarly a slow and sneaking process. Someone called it “boiling frog”. People who still give to the game, despite their playstyle being equalized to burger flipper, make it possible for grinders, botters and mega-coalition members to still find sense in what they’re doing. Take the aforementioned people out of the equation and see how the rest does not work anymore.
I know, chances are low, that enough people even realize this and even lower that enough people would act on it, but I thought it’s a fun idea to throw in. You never know when real life suddenly teaches people something about acting as a group, rather than doing the ego thing.
If not now, I’ll propose it again in 10 years or something. By then, if my calculations are right, we’ll have enough scientists, it-specialists and the likes on a global level, that they’ll everywhere be down to burger flipper income. Should teach some people something - maybe.