When I worked Tom Sawyer's Island at WDW, someone every few days would ask what I made at the job. And many of them couldn't believe that we got paid the same as other ride ops (since we were actually driving a vehicle) *and* that ride ops got paid pretty much the same as merchandise and food service cast members... or that custodial got more than any of us.
Custodial was just supply and demand, I explained, which most folks could understand, but quite a few union guys, fire and Teamster-types, said we must have a really cr@ppy union if we were getting less than $10 an hour to actually drive a raft. (To which, I replied, the raft drivers are about .05 percent of the workers repped by the union, so who cares about us?)
I think part of the reason that Cedar Point is able to pay those kinds of wages is the fact that 1.00 per hour of it is a bonus structure. The base pay over the summer is 6.25, and if you fulfull your "contract" by working a certain amount of hours and month, you get the bonus of $1 for each hour worked at the end of your season. That enables them to keep payroll down over the season until they are in the black on profits. While some may believe different, it's not that easy for Cedar Point to have a full staff. There's no large market within reasonable driving distance for a teenager (although some make the trip) In fact, they rely heavily on overseas/exchange student recruiting, which gives them the ability to stretch their season out a bit when college starts back up. They also entice college students with college credit, and cheap housing that closely resembles the atmosphere of a college dorm...partying and all.
A place like Kings Island also employs many college students, but the fact that its in Cincinatti, a city of almost 3 million, gives them an almost endless supply of high school students looking for that summer job. The funny thing is, that while Kings Island doesn't pay quite as much, they still pay around the same as Disney...no union.
That said, I'd think that forward-thinking union organizers in the Cleveland area would want to go out and organize Cedar Point, if for no other reason than to introduce kids, especially the foriegn exchange kids, to union membership. Then again, I just typed "forward-thinking" and "union organizers" in the same sentence and my keyboard didn't explode, so I suppose I should quit this comment while I'm still ahead.