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Sat 19 Feb 2011 09:37 AM

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Egypt military says it will not allow strikes to go on

Strikes by groups ranging from policemen to bank staff have hit the public sector

Egypt military says it will not allow strikes to go on
Egyptian police take to the streets in al Mansuriya earlier this week, as workers in banking, transport, oil, tourism, textiles, state-owned media and government bodies go on strike to demand higher wages and better conditions (Getty Images)

Egypt's ruling military council said it would not allow the continuation of strikes harming the economy and national security, state television reported, quoting a statement from the military.

"They will be confronted and legal steps will be taken against them to protect the security of the nation and citizens," said the statement, which state media attributed to a military source.

Egypt's vast public sector has been hit by strikes by groups ranging from policemen to employees of state-owned banks. Workers inspired by the revolt that toppled Hosni Mubarak from power have been demanding better pay and conditions.

Apart from the strikes, the military council which has been running Egypt for a week said "some elements" were preventing state employees from working, while others were appropriating state land and building on agricultural land.

"The Supreme Council for the Armed Forces will not allow the continuation of those illegitimate practices," it said.

The council understood workers' demands and had instructed the relevant state bodies to study and act on them, it said. But citizens must do their duty to the state, it added.

"It was also noted that the continuation of the state of instability and the consequences resulting from it will lead to damage in national security," the statement said.

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