Washington, D.C. -- The Senate Health, Education and Labor Committee has voted 11-10 in favor of Eugene Scalia's nomination as the Labor Department's top lawyer.

Union workers had lobbied intensely to defeat Scalia because of his opposition to ergonomics regulations aimed at improving workplace safety. Scalia said at his confirmation hearing last month that he thought ergonomics-related injuries existed but that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) went too far by making rules for it.

As labor solicitor, Scalia would be in charge of enforcing nearly 200 labor laws and would provide legal advice and guidance in nearly every aspect of the department. The nomination now awaits a vote in the full Senate.