Workers at two major state-owned companies have joined protests in Oman, at the tip of the Persian Gulf. They are calling for pay hikes and greater benefits.
Work came to a stop at Oman Telecommunications Co. and Petroleum Development Oman as several hundred employees joined sit-ins Wednesday.
Protesters also staged a second day of rallies in front of the Ministry of Information to demand more media freedom.
There have been two weeks of sporadic demonstrations calling for more jobs and political openness.
Protests in the tightly ruled nation have been low key compared to unrest elsewhere in the Mideast, but the government is taking them seriously.
Oman's ruler, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, has made significant changes in his government and is offering more civil service jobs.