A STEELWORKS boss has said wages at a troubled Newport firm will be paid this morning after a union said it was considering legal action over unpaid wages.

The Community Trade Union claimed around 150 workers at Mir Steel hadn’t received their weekly wages for three weeks, until one week’s wages were paid on Tuesday.

But the company says wages will be up to date this morning.

Around 140 workers at the plant were laid off on 50 per cent pay after the company produced nothing since last summer.

Steelworkers also recently received bad news at the Tata Steel-owned Orb Electrical Steels, which announced a possible 120 redundancies.

Steve McCool, national officer for the Community Trade Union which represents workers at the company, said: “It’s a disgrace that Mir Steel workers have not been fully paid.

“We have been in constant dialogue with the company to try and do everything to resolve the situation amicably and to ensure that our members get their money.

“However, the continuing failure of Mir Steel to pay Community’s members what they are legally owed has left us with no option but to instruct our lawyers to prepare legal proceedings.”

He said the agents for the owners, Liberty Commodities, have made “plenty of positive public statements about the potential of Mir Steel” and their plans for investment and modernisation.

“These words are ringing hollow in the ears of Community’s members,” he said.

“Liberty Commodities should come clean about what is going on at Mir Steel – they need to open up and, more importantly, they need to pay up.”

However Mir Steel director Haydn Swindenbank said that wages will be up to date by Wednesday morning.

International steel and minerals group Liberty Commodities took over the Mir Steel plant last year on behalf of a consortium of Dubai-based Indian investors.

It had previously been owned by billionaire industrialist Vadim Varshavsky who took over the Newport site after Alphasteel went into administration on December 20, 2007.