Students and workers at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London have won the reinstatement of two librarians after a campaign which saw staff vote four to one for strikes.
From the start it was clear that this library restructuring plan was not just an appalling way to treat knowledgable staff, but a complete contradiction of everything that makes SOAS a respected institution.
It seems management had not counted on the anger the sackings would create right across the school among students, academics and other staff.
Everyone knew that this wasn’t just about people like me who work in the area of Korea, Japan and China. Once they had “restructured” our specialist librarians the rest would follow.
One of the most heartening things about the struggle to reinstate the librarians is the way that it seems to have woken up both academics and students, me included, to what the management has been trying to do at SOAS.
It also seems to have brought about a new unity among the three unions at SOAS.