The military hoped tens of thousands of Egyptians would heed its appeal to get back to work on Wednesday and abandon the strikes and protests that flared after president Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down and thus offering new freedoms.
A panel of legal experts appointed by Egypt's military will submit a revised constitution to a referendum within two months, a member of the committee said on Wednesday.
The civilian panel met the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces on Tuesday and was given 10 days to revise the constitution in order to prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections later this year.
"We will finish the revisions in 10 days, and the referendum and the results will be completed in two months," said Sobhi Saleh, a member of the eight-member panel that includes judges and constitutional experts.
"The military has promised that the referendum will be guarded by the army and the police," said Saleh, a former lawmaker and a prominent member of the Muslim Brotherhood opposition movement.
Saleh said that the military was eager to hand over power to a civilian administration as soon as possible.
The military took power on Friday when former strongman Hosni Mubarak's near 30-year rule was brought to an end by an 18-day nationwide revolt.
On Sunday, the military suspended the constitution and dissolved parliament, but it has promised to oversee a six-month transition to democratic rule.
Pro-democracy leaders also say Egyptians will demonstrate again if their demands for radical change are not met. They plan a big "Victory March" on Friday to celebrate the revolution.
Strikes and sit-ins
The Supreme Council for Armed Forces on Monday called on workers to halt strikes, warning that the economic impact of labor protests would be "disastrous", but stopping short of ordering them back to work.
But with anger still smoldering over rising prices and economic hardship, the military face a difficult balancing act in restoring stability while allaying deep suspicions about its readiness to relinquish power.
Using their new-found freedom of expression and protest, workers on Monday rallied in Cairo and other cities to complain about low pay and poor working conditions.
Protests, sit-ins and strikes have occurred at state-owned institutions across Egypt, including the stock exchange, textile and steel firms, media groups, the postal services and railways.
Earlier on Wednesday, workers in the country's largest factory re-launched a strike for higher wages and better conditions, despite the country's new military rulers warning that more strikes would be "disastrous."
Faisal Naousha, a strike organizer, told AFP that that workers in the Misr Spinning and Weaving textile factory -- which employs 24,000 people in the Nile Delta city of al-Mahalla al-Kubra -- also want two top managers to resign.
The workers had suspended a strike three days ago, but Naousha said at the time they would continue to press for higher wages.
Last year a court ruling raised the minimum wage from LE400 ($68) to LE1200 ($204), but the workers have not received their dues, he said.
Thousands of workers at the Misr Helwan Spinning and Weaving company, south of Cairo, continued their strike Wednesday, also demanding higher wages.
In the canal city of Ismailiya, government employees of the irrigation, education and health ministries protested outside the province headquarters demanding "fairer salaries", witnesses said.
Banks across Egypt were shut on Wednesday after being closed on Monday because of labor rows. Tuesday was a national holiday to mark the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed so for many sectors Wednesday was the first work day since the military's appeal.
Workers in banking, transport, oil, tourism, textiles, state-owned media and government bodies are striking to demand higher wages and better conditions, said Kamal Abbas of the Center for Trade Union and Workers' Services.
"It's difficult to say exactly how many people are striking and where. Who isn't striking?" Abbas said this week.
Many trade unions are headed by people affiliated to Mubarak's former regime, leaving workers with few formal channels to air their grievances.
"In many places, workers want the removal of senior figures who are accused of corruption," Abbas said.
The salary gap between management and staff is a major issue, while many workers are demanding benefits and legal protection, having worked on temporary contracts for years, he said.
This week, thousands of workers protested outside the state-controlled Egyptian Trade Union Federation to demand the resignation of its unpopular head Hussein Megawer and board members, whom they accuse of corruption.
Strikes and protests have spread across Cairo, the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, the Nile Delta province of Qaliubiya, the canal cities of Suez and Ismailiya and the southern city of Aswan.