Many Egyptians ignored their military rulers’ plea to return to work on Wednesday.
The Higher Military Council wanted workers to go back to their jobs after two and a half weeks of popular unrest.
The revolution ousted former president, Hosni Mubarak, but triggered turmoil in the Egyptian economy.
Striking workers across a number of sectors want better pay and conditions. An estimated 12,000 workers at a textile plant in Mahalla walked off the job, while employees at Cairo’s airport also staged industrial action. They were joined by workers in the transport, oil, tourism, state-owned media and government bodies, who are also demanding higher salaries.