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Ohio voters reject curb on labor unions

In a rebuff to Republican Gov. John Kasich, Ohio voters have decided to reject curbs on public employees.

The Associated Press projected that voters would reject S.B. 5, the law enacted last spring by Kasich and the Republican-controlled legislature that limited the ability of public employee unions to collectively bargain.

With nearly a third percent of precincts reporting, more than 60 percent of voters were rejecting the law.

The law also would have required performance-based pay for most public employees, limited the accrual of vacation time, and required public employees to pay 15 percent of the cost of their health care benefits. While the health care cost sharing was popular in polling, the curb on collective bargaining by public-sector workers was not.

“The repeal of SB5 is a monumental victory for working families not only in Ohio , but all across the country,” said Michael Sargeant, executive director of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.

The victory for organized labor is an encouraging sign for Democrats as they prepare to battle for Ohio’s 18 electoral votes in the 2012 presidential election. President Obama carried Ohio with 51 percent of the vote in 2008.