Coalition ministers are refusing to back down today despite attacks from trade unions on a number of fronts.
Vince Cable was heckled by delegates at the GMB union this morning, as he delivered a stern message on industrial relations during the downturn.
The business secretary pressed on with his warning that the government would consider legislating to restrict the right to strike further if threatened actions materialised.
In his speech, Mr Cable referred to the ongoing dispute involving teaching unions, some of whom are considering a walk out later this month over plans to increase their contributions.
politics.co.uk understands that ongoing talks with ministers have effectively collapsed, with agreement extremely unlikely before the proposed strike on June 30th.
Unions and others on the left of British politics are concerned that the coalition's deficit reduction plan is taking place unnecessarily quickly and without any concern for growth.
Yesterday a group of respected economists warned that the "breakneck" pace of cuts risked the economic recovery.
The chancellor struck an unapologetic note today, when he defended his plans, saying the UK needed a "credible fiscal plan" to return to economic stability.
Meanwhile, the gulf between the attitudes of the Conservatives-Liberal Democrat coalition and those in the labour movement was highlighted by a TUC report out today, which suggested that the poorest had been in a livelihood crisis for the last 30 years.