I agree that it's a catch-22. If you take a pay cut, other prospective employers will devalue you. If you stand up for yourself, you'll be looked upon as difficult. It's up to the individual to determine which way to go. I'm not entirely sure how unions work - if the member is out of a job, are they required to still be part of that union? I'm supposedly part of a union myself (one for lab techs), but I figure that my membership should go away when I quit my job and change industries.