Statistically speaking, William Wynn makes the case that the 1960s-born generation could spark a resurgence of unionism {"The Comeback Trail for Labor," Outlook, Sept. 6}. However, his flawed thesis (or Labor Day wish) ignores important differences between unions of the 1920s and those of the 1980s, the two decades whose similarities he compares.

Unions of the 1920s largely concerned themselves with improving the "sweat shop" wages and conditions facing the newly industrialized American work force. Today, they are more concerned with maintaining their own power bases and in self-aggrandizement, as America eases away from heavy industry to ride "the third wave." In the 1920s federal labor laws were not very favorable to the worker. Now, largely due to early union efforts, burgeoning federal regulations dictate every imaginable working condition in favor of the worker.

Union membership has been declining in recent years because members don't get a good return on their high dues, because many ill-advised strikes have cost more than they have won and because federal regulations and watchdogs already protect workers from any serious corporate mistreatment. Throw in rampant union corruption, malfeasance and a generally poor public image (they haven't done American consumers any favors), and it seems more likely that unions will be lucky just to slow the bleeding through the 1990s. DEAN MINZE Takoma Park