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Henshaw's In, But Scalia's Not Safe

By Michael A. Verespej Expect the Senate to confirm as early as this week the choice of former Monsanto Co. safety and health director John L. Henshaw as the new head of the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). On the other hand, the Bush Administration's nomination of Eugene Scalia, son of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, as Labor Dept. solicitor, is expected to cause quite a political fight. "He's not viewed as a friend of labor, and he'll be closely scrutinized because of his relationship with his father," says G. John Tysse, attorney with the Washington law firm of McGuinness, Norris & Williams. The ideologically conservative Scalia has fought against the implementation of ergonomic regulations at both the federal and state levels and in 1999 wrote a column for the Wall Street Journal where he said that the OSHA ergonomics proposal relied on "doubtful evidence that repeatedly has flunked the courts' 'junk science' test." As for Henshaw, if there is any opposition, it is more likely to come from the business side. He already has been given the blessing of labor's most influential safety lobbyist, Margaret Seminario, health and safety director of the AFL-CIO. "John is a competent and widely respected safety and health professional," says Seminario. "The only question ... is what he will actually be allowed to do to protect worker safety and health."

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