ANYONE who struggled to work during the Tube strike last week should take a minute to remember Boris Johnson's election promise to "negotiate a no-strike deal" with the trade unions.
It is now clear that Boris's posturing on this issue - saying he would "end strikes" - has actually had the opposite effect.
Whereas the previous mayor invested time and effort to build good relationships with the trade unions, Boris has failed even to meet them.
In the two years before Boris was elected, the number of shifts lost to industrial action was down by 98 per cent; but in Boris's first year there have already been 17 industrial actions - including the first Tube strike since September 2007.
The strike represents a huge failure on Boris's part to work with the unions to find a fair way forward.
This dispute should never have been allowed to get this far and it is deeply regrettable that the RMT went ahead, but the mayor's approach to the union - calling them "demented" and "dinosaurs" - has been flawed and provocative from the start.
Confusion remains over who walked away first from the deal that would have seen the strike called off. But if the mayor's office did deliberately scupper the negotiations it would be just the latest episode in his failed approach to industrial relations.
Londoners will expect better leadership from their mayor and are relying on him to ensure this disruption is not repeated.
NAVIN SHAH AM London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow