President Obama is the most union-friendly president in decades, but his pro-labor tilt has hurt U.S. job creation. Consider how in just the last few months, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has discouraged companies from investing in the United States and hiring American workers. In just the past year, the NLRB has forbid Boeing from opening a plant in South Carolina, which would employ around 1,000 people; amended unionization rules that all but legalize “card-check,” which was so anti-business it couldn’t even pass a Democratic Congress; and, just last month, required that employers litter their workplaces with guidelines for unionization.

Since the days when my dad was a union organizer Big Labor has done some great things for American workers. But today’s unions have expanded their primary mission – protecting workers – to the point where they are actively attacking businesses. Not coincidentally, private-sector union membership has sunk considerably in recent decades, as more and more workers realize that the goal of unions is to grow the unions and expand labor leaders’ political power.

Indeed, since the heyday of private-sector union membership in the 1940s, when it stood at 33 percent, workers have been fleeing from unions. Between 2000 and 2010, union participation in the private sector has declined from 9 percent to 6.9 percent. Only in government, which has no competition, did union membership grow, and now stands at 36 percent.

Very few of the 2,000 innovative technology companies represented by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® are unionized. Technology CEOs fear that unions would destroy the flexibility they need to innovate and compete. And their employees also see no need for unions because technology manufacture workers already earn about 33 percent more than durable good manufacture workers. Additionally, many employees hope for the reward of a successful public offering or publicly traded share price.

In fact, unions are their own worst enemy. As they continually pursue anti-jobs policies, they only encourage more unemployment and fewer due-paying members. Instead, unions should be on the side of the American worker by advocating policies that increase employment. Perhaps doing so would help the unions reverse 50 years of decline. I suggest a radical change in union strategy.

To shift public opinion, help the economy and create jobs, unions should consider:

Supporting school reform efforts.

The nation sees a failing educational system where the oldest and worst teachers are protected from being fired and the newest are let go in tough times. How can teacher unions justify their opposition to merit pay? Why is teaching the only job in America where employee performance and results are irrelevant?

Supporting state sales tax collection to fill state coffers.

Today, almost every state is facing severe budget shortfalls, which is forcing many to furlough state workers and try to cut back on pension benefits. Yet, unions have been silent on the lost tax revenue from out-of-state internet retailers, who don’t have to charge sales tax. Retailers anywhere should be subject to the same sales tax. Rather than fight to save huge pensions, unions should be pushing to collect sales tax from out-of-state retailers.

Supporting repatriation of corporate profits.

Democratic Congresswoman Shelly Berkley of Nevada has proposed that American companies be allowed to bring back their foreign earnings at a lower corporate tax rate, if they use that money to hire American workers or invest it in the United States. According to some estimates, over a trillion dollars is parked overseas. If only a third of that returns to the United States from this type of tax holiday, it would boost employment and directly cut the deficit. With union support this would sail through Congress, help the economy and improve President Obama’s election chances.

Changing focus to flexibility, competence and efficiency

Rather than defend pensions, protect featherbedded positions and advocate for easy unionization, unions should be a force for competitiveness, highly trained workers and corporate excellence. This requires that unions stop protecting the worst workers from being fired, support differential pay for the best workers and work to improve corporate performance. Then, unions would be magnets for workers who share the American work ethic and desire to see their employers succeed.

To create more jobs we need more Americans supporting the success of job creators. Unions can help by fighting for better education for our children and striving to make our companies more flexible, innovative and competitive. Sadly, today, their leaders encourage divisiveness and hostility towards employers.

Originally published at Forbes.