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MSHA News Release No. 96-002
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Contact: (703) 235-1452

January 31, 1996

J. DAVITT McATEER NAMED AS ACTING LABOR DEPARTMENT SOLICITOR

J. Davitt McAteer, assistant secretary for the Labor Department's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), has been named acting solicitor of the Labor Department.

McAteer has served as assistant labor secretary since February 1994 and, in addition to his new responsibilities as acting solicitor, will continue to function as MSHA's top official.

"Davitt McAteer has been extremely effective in running the Mine Safety and Health Administration," said Secretary of Labor Robert B. Reich. "He brings to this new position considerable expertise in the law of the workplace; he has long supported enacting and enforcing health and safety laws that protect our nation's workers."

Ida Castro, presently serving as the deputy assistant secretary for workers' compensation, has been named acting deputy solicitor.

From 1984-93, McAteer served as executive director of the Occupational Safety and Health Law Center, a public interest law firm that engages in litigation, education and training, and policy analysis of workplace health and safety issues, both domestically and abroad.

McAteer received his law degree from West Virginia University in 1970. The following year, he launched his legal career as an attorney with the Center for the Study of Responsive Law. His main thrust was improving conditions in U.S. mines.

In 1972, McAteer took a position with the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA). As solicitor of safety for the UMWA, he helped to revitalize the union's safety and health program, improving the training of rank-and-file safety inspectors.

McAteer is married, has five children and lives in Jefferson County, W.Va.