Vast numbers of workers who sew the clothing of many of America’s biggest brands didn’t get the memo that they are supposed to be grateful for 12 cents an hour in awful conditions. Al Jazeera America writes:

Garment factory workers in Bangladesh protested for the third day in a row Monday, calling on their government to raise the minimum wage from about $38 dollars per month to $100. Garment workers often labor up to 80 hours per week.

The protests forced the shutdown of hundreds of factories in the industrial Gazipur neighborhood near the capital, Dhaka, where factory owners and government officials called for workers to return to work.

Western corporations that rely on Bangladeshi labor to make much of the clothing sold in their stores — including Walmart, Gap and H&M — appeared reluctant to comment publicly on the protests.

Abdul Baten, police chief of the Gazipur industrial district, told AFP that “up to 200,000 workers” had joined the latest demonstrations.

Indonesia’s factories ground to a halt on as millions of workers walked out of their jobs, calling for an increased minimum wage and more workers’ rights and protections, Al Jazeera reported early yesterday:

It is estimated that some two million factory workers will go on strike nationwide on Wednesday. Al Jazeera’s Stepp Vaessen reported from the scene of a strike. “I’m at the biggest industrial zone outside of Jakarta where 800 factories are basically closed down right now because all the workers are standing outside on the streets with banners and motorbikes going around,” she said on Wednesday.

They are protesting against their working conditions and over the work contacts that they have. They say they don’t have any job security and no stability,” she said. The workers [are also] protesting against the practice of outsourcing manpower.

The Jakarta Globe newspaper reported on its website that the unions were expecting some 2.8 million people to go on strike in 21 districts and municipalities and 80 industrial zones across the country.

Rueters reports on major unrest at the source of the world’s baubles:

About 2,000 Chinese employees of an iPhone assembly company fought a pitched battle into the early hours of Monday, forcing the huge electronics plant where they work to be shut down.

Authorities in the northern city of Taiyuan sent 5,000 police to restore order. On Monday evening, paramilitary police with riot shields, helmets and batons guarded one entrance of the massive factory complex, while an announcement over loudspeakers said there had been a criminal incident the night before and urged people to respect the law.

Employees and people posting messages online accused factory guards of provoking the trouble by beating up workers at the factory, which is owned by the world’s largest contract maker of electronic goods.

A short but nuanced glimpse at the conditions from which spring our beloved Apple products, with long hours of tedium and breaks on the soccer field. If this was your life, would you want to use an iPad after?

Marketplace Shanghai Bureau Chief Rob Schmitz is only the second reporter ever to gain access to visit the factory floor at Apple’s Chinese producer Foxconn.