Major Federal Regulatory Agencies, Quality Union Relationship and

Major Federal Regulatory Agencies:

Consumer Product Safety Commission Establishes and enforces federal safety standards for the content, construction and performance of thousands of manufactured goods.

Environmental Protection Agency establishes and enforces federal standards for environmental protection, especially from industrial pollution.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Administers and enforces Title Vlll (the fair employment practices section) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972.

Federal Aviation Administration Regulates and promotes air transportation safety; sets standards for the operation of airports and the licensing of pilots.

Federal Communication Commission regulates interstate and foreign communication by radio, television, telegraph, and telephone.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insures bank deposits and has authority to examine bank practice and approve bank mergers.

Federal Reserve System regulates the nation’s banking system; manages the nation’s money supply.

Federal Trade Commission ensures free and fair competition in the economy and protects consumers from unfair or deceptive practices.

Food and Drug Administration Administers federal laws regarding food purity, the safety and effectiveness of drugs and medical devices, the safety of cosmetics and the safety and honesty of packaging.

Interstate Commerce Commission enforces federal laws concerning the transportation of goods and people across state lines.

National Labor Relations Board Prevents or corrects unfair labor practices by either employers or unions.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Licenses and regulates the design, construction, and operation of nonmilitary nuclear facilities.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration Develops and enforces federal standards and regulations ensuring safe and healthful working conditions.

Securities and Exchange Commission administers federal laws concerning the buying and selling of securities.

Quality Union Relationship at ARMCO:

Union relationships have become an important factor in the total quality efforts of firms, because total quality involves having workers take on a new level of commitment and involvement in the company’s success. However, the movement away from traditional adversarial relationship is not easy. The “we versus them” mentality, still found in many unionized companies, can undermine quality efforts. At Armco Worldwide Grinding Systems in Kansas City, Missouri, the union management relationship was described as one of “periodic non-cooperation”. Then in 1992, the company implemented its “Team Works” program. Team works is an effort by the company to give all its employees an equal voice in developing ideas to make Armco more profitable, more productive and more satisfying for its workers. This was the last step in a quality process that had been ongoing for ten years.

With Team Works, employees volunteer to serve on seven member teams that research and suggest ideas to improve quality and productivity as well as to reduce expenses and generate added revenue. When the company accepts an idea, team members earn recognition and awards. The results are impressive: close to $4 million in cost savings has been realized through team ideas; 80 teams have submitted nearly 500 ideas for review; and grievances have declined by 40 percent. Prior to Team Works, employees focused attention on “how the company was going to get me next” rather than concentrating on developing working solutions to business problems. Managers mandated all programs and work changes. Now, employees manage the programs and work changes. With the developments of the teams, encouragement of open discussion, and the financial awards to employees for the savings generated from their ideas, Armco has been able to turn the situation around.

Take the case of McDonald: Initially, McDonald’s responded to public concern by boosting polystyrene recycling endeavors. In October 1989, McDonald’s introduced a plan at 450 New England restaurants to recycle polystyrene plastic and corrugated cardboard garbage. McDonald’s outfitted the restaurants with special recycling bins. It made available posters and pamphlets explaining the rationale for the recycling endeavor, efforts to educate the public frequently accompanied its recycling efforts.

In spite of mixed reviews of the program, McDonald’s expanded it in 1990 to a few cities outside New England. Then in April, McDonald’s announced “McRecycle,” the company’s commitment of $100 million to buying recycled materials for restaurant construction, remodeling and operations, Ed Rensi, chief operating officer and president of McDonald’s USA, asserted. “We challenge suppliers to provide us with these recycled products”.