Universal Orlando asks union to change name

Posted Wednesday, September 20, 2006 9:34 AM | Contributed by Jeff

There must be no "Universal" union at Universal Orlando -- the company told activists trying to organize workers at its Orlando theme parks. Universal Studios warned them that the company trademarked the word "Universal" for names associated with amusement parks. That means the new Universal Labor Council, the group trying to form a theme park union, must be renamed, advised Anne Nielsen, the company's senior trademark counsel.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006 9:38 AM
The park is in the right, and the union guy sounds like a real dick. Do you want someone like that representing you?
Wednesday, September 20, 2006 11:09 AM
It was a smart-ass reply...but I liked it. I understand Universal's point of view though. If I thought it was official information from the company I'd be pretty ticked to learn it wasn't.

But, I'm all for amusement park employees unionizing IF the companies aren't treating them fairly.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006 11:19 AM
Then Cedar Point will have to pay their seasonals 9/hr. Of course, the equivalent of 4 dollars of every hour (and .50 of the bonus) will be deducted for union dues.

This sounds like a great plan.

*** This post was edited by Juggalotus 9/20/2006 11:20:27 AM ***

Wednesday, September 20, 2006 11:35 AM
Well, I wasn't really comparing Universal to Cedar Point...seeing as one is a year-round operation and one is a seasonal operation.

Actually, when I was a cast member at WDW I was in the union de facto but paid no Union dues. I was considered a temporary employee but still had representation.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006 11:52 AM
Thats not so bad.

My comment though was more directed at Unions having a tendency to screw part-time workers. I have had a few friends who worked part time as cashiers at Meijers. Despite working only 20 hours per week at minimum wage (they were college students at the time) they still had to pay union dues.

Unions are great if they actually help workers. But unions are becoming the corporations that they are supposed to protect the workers from. And like any corporation, the guys at the top want to collect as much money as they can, sometimes at the expense of the workers.

I do see what you're saying about one being full time and one being only seasonal. That just means it might take a little longer for a union to get a foothold (if they ever do manage it).
*** This post was edited by Juggalotus 9/20/2006 11:57:13 AM ***

Wednesday, September 20, 2006 12:32 PM
Not all unions screw part time workers. The part time workers in my union are cared about more then the full time workers are. Part time workers make more then a lot of the full time workers do and they work less hours then the full time workers do.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006 1:43 PM
Union = Communists
Wednesday, September 20, 2006 2:57 PM
Would you care to explain your position or are you just trying to start a flame war?
Wednesday, September 20, 2006 3:19 PM
^ With "evil" in the SN, do you need to ask? ;)
Wednesday, September 20, 2006 4:24 PM
Union Labor is 1/2 the problem at Great Adventure everyone is too busy screwing things up so they can get overtime.......
Wednesday, September 20, 2006 4:31 PM
I think poor managment has a lot more to do with GrAdv's problems than union labor.

I support the union trying to form at Universal, I was very impressed with the level of the staff when I was there a few summers ago and they deserve to be treated fairly.

However, They also need to respect pre-existing trademarks. Universal does not seem to be acting out of line here, and by sticking with this name they are just going to cause a riff between managment and employees, and it could split the employees when it comes to the vote. Poor start for a union. This guy is kind of a jerk, they should find a new leader.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006 4:47 PM
Unions, back in the day when I only needed ONE walker, were a good way for workers to join together to protect themselves from the so-called "robber barons" of the day.

NOW, when all companies treat all their employees like gold, and there's no longer abuse of employees with unpaid overtime, full-time workers without health benefits, and everyone's pension is completely secure, unions have become unnecessary.

Anyone want some swampland? :)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006 8:25 PM
I can't say whether the guy is 1) a real jerk, or 2) SUPREMELY sarcastic.....

Given the way it was likely*received* at Universal (Big 'U'), it certainly is NOT the best way to represent your union members. Antognism rarely gets you want you want in negotiations....I think I read that somewhere. ;)

Probably something I'd have sent to my friends (privately CC'ing them the correspondence along with the smart-assed response), not to the Management.

Thursday, September 21, 2006 12:43 PM
Full response from the union:


Thursday, September 21, 2006 1:04 PM
Wow, what a dick. That's just not how you conduct business.
Thursday, September 21, 2006 3:18 PM
Apparently he has a hard time grasping Trademark laws.

Did anyone else find it that offensive for Universal to have trademarked "Universal" when it pertains to Amusement/Theme parks?

And I just realized that's on the labor councils site, like they're bragging about it.

Thursday, September 21, 2006 4:01 PM
Yeah, he's a jerk, but he's a jerk with a sense of humor....just NOT that appropriate time or place to display his amazing grasp of the *universal* art of sarcasm...

Besides, I have already TM'd sarcasm...if you use it, you must PAY me! :)

P.S. I am sure that Disney has 15-20 "Senior Trademark Counsel(s)" on staff...maybe more.

P.P.S. The middle paragraph, that specifically addresse items like pay and benefits, that stuff is what the Union is *supposed* to be fighting for (about?)...universally. ;)

Thursday, September 21, 2006 4:06 PM
P.S. I have been advised (by counsel) to exclaim in response to the above-referenced fax, with immense glee.....(apologies to paris)...."That's HOT!"

Next time she uses sarcasm , we'll call it even...;)

Thursday, September 21, 2006 9:28 PM
The Uranus bit was pure class.

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