Bangladesh police have fired tear gas and stormed a garment factory in the capital Dhaka where workers had been staging a hunger-strike over pay, a union official has said.

The police forced hundreds of protesters to flee the factory on Thursday where they had been holding a 10-day strike to call for the payment of back wages and a holiday bonus.

Bangladesh's garment industry, the world's second largest and which supplies top Western retailers such as Wal-Mart and H&M, has a history of poor pay and hazardous conditions, which have often been deadly for its four million employees.

The country has seen a sharp rise in trade unions protesting against the government's alleged inaction towards improving workers' rights and the brutal crackdown on their demonstrations by police.

Al Jazeera's Maher Sattar reports from Dhaka.

Source: Al Jazeera