A bus company gave drivers cash advances after wages failed to be paid into their bank accounts on time.
Preston Bus employees were angry when there was a delay paying their weekly wages electronically into their accounts.
The firm said the problem seemed to be an IT issue affecting its parent company, Rotala, in Birmingham.
The wife of one employee said some staff were literally living week-to-week on low wages and that not being paid until late on Friday – or in some cases later – meant great hardship.
She added: “As many staff have only one family income and typically no living wage and as direct debits bounced leaving £35 charges in accounts for each debit, many drivers and families were left without food and fuel.
“Personally, we took all our goods to a shop and sold them for food and fuel.
“Luckily once we received monies we could then cover our costs. It was a nightmare.”
A spokesman for Preston Bus confirmed there had been a problem with the BACS payments on March 29.
Payment had to be made by a different method, but as far as the company was aware, all money was deposited by Friday night. It was possible that money may have not shown up in a building society account until later.
The spokesman said the company appreciated that it would be an issue for employees, as drivers were paid weekly.
“This is the first time this has happened to my knowledge in 11 years. We offered drivers cash subs where there were problems and we did everything we could to make life easier for them.”
In the past, the company had covered any bank charges incurred. .