The campaign to save jobs at Cambridge University Press reached a critical moment on Friday last week.
Workers from the printing division voted to accept a reduced number of redundancies, plus an enhanced redundancy deal in return for a pay freeze until April 2010.
The campaign managed to reduce the proposed 133 redundancies in printing by about half, although not all the jobs will remain in printing, and those that do will only be guaranteed for one year.
In publishing, the number redundancies was reduced to five although this was mainly through employees being redeployed.
The campaign organised by the Unite union, which included a rally that attracted around 500 people. In addition, there was a petition that attracted 1,500 signatures.
The campaign also helped overcome some of the sectionalism between the separate Unite union branches in printing and publishing, which have traditionally operated separately.
The reduced redundancies are to be welcomed and without the campaign the toll would be much higher.
But the initial enthusiasm was allowed to fade as union leaders prioritised offering management an alternative business plan, rather than openly confronting their cuts.
The key element that could have potentially saved far more jobs was missing – industrial action.