Witnesses said hundreds were injured in clashes between protesters and police after workers rampaged through factories and buses were set on fire.
An estimated 100,000 workers joined Monday’s protest to demand higher pay and better working conditions at an export goods manufacturing zone in Ashulia, north of Dhaka.
The workers took their protests to nearby roads, blockading the highway and smashing vehicles, police said.
Police and paramilitary officers shot at the workers to disperse them, said Rezaul Karim, a security officer at the export zone.
In response to the protest, factory owners held their own demonstration in central Dhaka to demand better security for their businesses.
Workers are demanding to paid at least 11 taka (16 cents) for every sweater they make – they are currently paid seven taka (11 cents).
They are often forced to work seven days a week to meet production deadlines, labour leaders say.
Bangladesh has about 2,500 garment factories, employing about 1.8 million workers
The clothes Bangladeshi workers make are mostly for export to Europe and America.