But the nursery nurses have not been forced back to work, in the manner of the miners in the 1980s, with nothing to show for it. Arguably, they achieved locally what they could not have done nationally, and certainly could not have done nationally without a strike. Local authority leaders may feel they have won their point and they have certainly emerged victorious in this particular battle. But have they won the war?
Like all disputes with their moments of bitterness, there is an aftermath which will have to be confronted. Councils that seem to have settled late, and therefore more reluctantly and less generously than others, will have to go the extra mile to cement relations with their nursery nurses. But there are other unresolved issues and the review of the early years workforce announced on Wednesday is a welcome attempt to lance a few boils.
That, too, is an outcome which is unlikely to have come to pass without the nursery nurses' action.