I think your are on point here union and licensing are 2 separate issues. I have no problem with competition as long as the playing field is level.Big difference between being licensed and being union. I personally have no problem with licensing.
And I spent a career working for companies that didn't have unions, and I also made a butt load of money. I did all my own bargaining - I didn't need somebody doing it for me. I just made sure I was the guy they never wanted to fire, and I got plenty of leeway with salary. It's not just the work I did; but, I put up with a lot of stress and long hours to get there, but I am proud of that. I have no problem with competition, and that's what it ultimately comes down to.