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Egyptian Military Criticizes Public Worker Strikes

VOA News February 14, 2011

Egypt's new ruling military council is criticizing public workers who are striking and protesting for better pay following President Hosni Mubarak's ouster.

A military spokesman read the new communique on state television Monday, urging an end to the unrest in order to allow the country to return to normal.

Thousands of state employees are protesting in Egypt's capital Cairo as part of this wave of labor unrest.

Several hundred protesters appeared in Tahrir Square Monday, but far fewer than the tens of thousands who gathered there during the past couple of weeks.

Elsewhere, Egyptian police joined the ranks of public workers from a number of state-owned institutions who have launched protests, sit-ins and strikes over grievances, including better pay.

Striking bank workers forced authorities to make Monday an unscheduled bank holiday, running into a public observance already set for Tuesday.

The military council suspended the constitution and dissolved parliament Sunday, meeting two key demands of pro-democracy protesters who viewed the charter and legislature as tools of Mr. Mubarak's authoritarian rule.

In a statement Sunday, Egypt's military rulers said they will govern for six months or until new presidential and parliamentary elections are held. The votes are scheduled for September.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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