So let's say I'm a worker for a business. At this business, as it goes in a typical capitalist society, I am in a subordinate position to the boss, who is the representative of the ultimate owners (i.e., the investors who own the business.)
As a worker, I am unable to participate in any decisions regarding the operations of this business: not over sales, not over pay, not over hours, not anything. Maybe the boss gives me a little say, but, for the most part, the boss holds the power. This business is structured as an authoritarian hierarchy, in which power only flows from the top down, and not the bottom up. The workers below are dependent on the owners above for salary, and thus for their food, shelter, health, education, everything needed to live.
As a worker, I cannot go anywhere else: unemployment is very high, and I, lacking any way to provide for myself otherwise (I don't own a factory, or land, or have any access to money), must sell my labor to the business owner or else my children will starve. Fundamentally, I work on their terms only.
Now let's say that this business begins to take in record profits for the investors. (My co-workers and I are the ones doing all of the useful labor, but remember: we have no say how the profits are split.)
Now let's say that this business says to my co-workers and me, "We want to increase profits even more. This is a business, right? All workers must take a 50% pay cut. Oh, and we are cutting health benefits too. The workload will be the same, but we, the owners and investors, want an even bigger share of the profit pie. Actually, we'd like you to work 10 hours a day instead of 8. If you don't like it, go starve in the streets."
You see now that we have a situation in which power is (vastly) asymmetrically distributed between the workers and the owners. Andthe investors, clearly, in this case, are abusing the workers.
(From this situation, things get even worse for the overall economy: The workers are underpaid and, as a class, are unable to match their production value with their purchasing power (if every business owner pays theirs workers 1 "unit of value" (UOV) to produce 2 UOV's, we approach a situation of over-production and then all kinds of messes ensue (the owners can only spend so much of their money on luxury goods and re-investment. Sometimes, they even promote foreign wars to open new markets for all the over-produced goods. This is a component of imperialism. But for the most part, the investor class has been hoarding money in off-shore accounts, somewhere between $21 and $32 trillion, actually, on a global scale.)
Anyway, back to the workers.
So what are we supposed to do? We could:
1) Start a union, in which case we all get fired immediately
2) Go on strike, in which case we all get fired immediately. The owners will turn armed guards on us if they need to (this has happened thousands of times in history.)
3) We could encourage a consumer boycott, which is not going to work.
4) We could smash and sabotage the workplace, in which case we all go to jail.
5) We could appeal to a higher authority, that is, the government, the ultimate voice of the community.
Look, it's nice to live in this fantasy world where government is always bad and private businessmen somehow incorruptible, but the truth is that businessmen and investors, who are only concerned about turning bigger and bigger profits, would pay their workers nothing if they could get away with it (what is wage-slavery but another form of (legitimate) slavery? A worker isn't free, after all, and just like a slave, you have to pay for the basics: food, shelter, health, etc.)
This is why we need a stronger government: it is the sphere of democracy, in which (theoretically) all citizens can participate as equals, unlike in a private business, where workers are subordinated to the interests of the investors/owners/bosses. In this case, the government can step in to prevent the workers from abuse, if they are unable to do so themselves.
[Also, by the way, this dispute is happening right now with Caterpillar. In fact, it happens with mosts businesses. The best way to raise profits for yourself is to pay your workers less and work them longer, harder hours, and the business owners have been doing that to working people for decades now.)