More than 20 staff have been left thousands of pounds out of pocket after their employer failed to pay them their wages, a tribunal heard.
The employees of Medi Vial Ltd in Horsenden Lane South stopped receiving payments between November and January after the glass bottle factory ran into arrears.
Workers were told by bosses they could no longer afford to pay their wages but were left angered when they still had not been paid nearly a year later.
Mahboob Alam, 39, who has worked for the company 10 years, said: "A meeting was held telling us about the problems and for a few weeks we didn't receive any money for the hours we worked.
"We were then given some of our wages but I was so worried as I needed the money to pay the bills and we really struggled, especially as my wife was pregnant.
"My wife kept asking why I continued to work there if I wasn't getting paid and I was forced to leave the job. The situation gave me health problems.
"After 10 years I can't believe its ended this way - if I work and get paid then I will be happy."
The tribunal ordered the owner, James O'Connor, to pay Mr Alam £1,718.65 in unpaid wages and holiday pay and thousands more to the 21 other employees who attended the hearing.
The Gazette heard three other employees were owed sums between £1,400 and £2,400 by the firm, which makes glass bottles for drinks companies.
But Mr O'Connor said he should not be held responsible for the current situation as he only took over the firm in February this year.
He said: "I took over the company knowing it was in arrears but in hindsight I don't think I would have taken it on.
"Due to the downturn in the economic climate and the increase in energy costs the company faced difficulties in cash flow.
"I was a former employee and was owed money myself and at the time, the system of part-paying wages seemed better than the workers losing all their pay.
"We had to get another bank on board to release some money and that's why we could only pay some of their wages.
"The company needs more time to make the repayments or we could be forced to close altogether."
Each worker was told how much they were owed and the company will hear when it must pay up in the coming weeks.