>mentioned that unions have historically shunned "the young, low-wage workers
>that staff the retail sector".
Because they're very difficult to organize and because low-wage workers can't pay big dues. That last point is rarely talked about, but several people have told me that the UAW has shied away from organizing relatively low-wage workers in the auto parts industry because there's no financial payoff. On the other hand, some unions, like HERE and the SEIU, are giving it the old college try.