The traditional hostility of small independent businesses (SIBs) to unions has never made much sense to me. In short, it seems to be an irrational ideological hostility. Why irrational? Glad you asked.
The fact is that most SIBs will never be targeted for unionization. Operations with less than twenty employees that are not part of a larger chain or franchise have very little to fear from unions. As far as organizing goes such establishments are a waste of union resources. Organizing and servicing are not costless activities and if unions are to have any chance of recouping those costs through dues the establishments must be much larger in order to warrant the attention of organizers.
But if this basic economic logic explains why SIBs have little to fear from unions it does not say why they should be pro union and not just ambivalent. However, if one takes into account the world of big box stores and franchises, which have cost advantages, and hence pricing power, over most SIBs then one begins to see why SIBs ought to be pro union. In so far as unionization leads to increased wages over non-unionized labour, then, *ceteris paribus*, large establishments will have less pricing power that they can use to squeeze their SIB counterparts.
Every time Walmart moves into a new community SIBs tremble at the prospect. As well they should. It is very hard to go toe to toe in pricing war with such a behemoth. However, were stores like Walmart, Canadian Tire, and Home Depot to be unionized then they would have much less pricing power and this would mean less price competition for their SIB counterparts. Ipso facto, the anti union stance of many SIBs is an irrational ideological belief.
**Of course all things are not equal and in many cases unionization increases productivity thereby off-setting the cost of higher wages.