February 14, 2011 / 2:12 PM / 7 years ago

Egypt army urges unity, criticizes strikes

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt’s army called on Monday for national solidarity, urged workers to play their role in reviving the economy and criticized strike action, after many employees were emboldened by protests to demand better pay.

It was the fifth communique by the Higher Military Council that took control of Egypt after Hosni Mubarak resigned as president on Friday following two weeks of massive protests against his rule.

“We notice some sectors in the state are organizing strike action despite the return of normal life,” a spokesman said on state television.

“Under the conditions it is necessary that all the groups and sectors of society stand together to support this positive movement and support the efforts of the Higher Military Council to achieve all the aspirations and expectations of the noble Egyptian people,” he said.

“Noble Egyptians sees that these strikes, at this delicate time, lead to negative effects such as harming the security of the country which causes disruption in all institutions and facilities of the state,” he said.

“(Strikes) negatively affect the ability to provide for the needs of citizens ... and disrupt the process of production and work in state sectors ... and they negatively affect the national economy,” it said.

He also said the army “calls on citizens and professional unions and the labor unions to play their role fully.”

The military said on Sunday it had dissolved parliament and suspended the constitution, and would govern the country for a period of six months or until new elections are held.

But the country still faces strikes and protests by workers in many sectors of the economy.

“We hope that everyone will prepare the appropriate atmosphere for managing the affairs of the country at this delicate time until it is handed to the legitimate, civilian authority, elected by the people,” the spokesman said.

Reporting by Cairo bureau, Writing by Edmund Blair and Andrew Hammond

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