The ruling military council in Egypt has banned "illegal" strikes which it said were harming the economy, state television reported Friday, quoting a statement from the military.
The military council took power after protests finally pressured long-time President Hosni Mubarak to step down.
As protests grew, strikes by public workers, from policemen to state-owned bank employees, undertook work stoppages, calling for better wages and conditions. The workers also lent their considerable muscle to the mass demonstrations led by young activists in Cairo's Tahrir Square.
Now the council is trying to restore order, and some fear that the council could revert to more repressive measures.
The council understood workers' demands and had instructed the relevant state bodies to study and act on them, the statement said. But citizens must do their duty to the state, it added.
There was no immediate indication that the prohibition against strikes would affect other types of protest.
Friday marked the one-week point since Mubarak's resignation was announced, an occasion that was treated as a large celebration by throngs of Egyptians who once again gathered in Tahrir Square.