DHAKA, Bangladesh – Thousands of protesting garment workers in Bangladesh clashed with police, injuring dozens of people Saturday amid continued violence over a new minimum wage.

Police charged with batons, fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the stone-throwing workers at Ashulia, a major industrial hub of some 300 garment factories that supply clothing to international companies such as Wal-Mart, Zara and Marks & Spencer.

Workers from about 20 factories joined the protests and dozens were injured in the clashes, police official Iqbal Bahar said.

Saturday’s protests came two days after the government raised monthly minimum wages for the country’s millions of garment workers by about 80 percent, after months of often-violent protests over poor pay and working conditions. Workers and labor leaders say the raise is inadequate and does not match the high cost of living.

In the first increase since 2006, the official minimum wage has been set at $45 a month, up from $25. Workers and labor rights groups have pressed for a monthly wage of $73. The pay structure starts in November.

Garment workers in Bangladesh are paid the least in the world and have difficulty buying enough food and arranging shelter on their monthly earnings, according to the International Trade Union Confederation, a Vienna-based labor rights group.

Bangladesh’s garment exports, mainly to the United States and Europe, earn more than $12 billion a year, nearly 80 percent of the country’s export income. The country has 4,000 factories employing more than 2 million workers, most of them women.

International companies Wal-Mart, Tesco, H&M, Zara, Carrefour, Gap, Metro, JCPenney, Marks & Spencer, Kohl’s, Levi Strauss and Tommy Hilfiger all import in bulk from Bangladesh.

In June, about 700 garment factories in a major industrial hub near Dhaka were shut for two days after violent protests by tens of thousands of workers.

The manufacturers say they’re being squeezed by a slump in prices on the international market because of the global economic crisis. They also say higher production costs due to an energy crisis and poor infrastructure are pushing them to the edge.