Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Normal operations of State Express Transport Corporation buses were affected on Tuesday with a section of the crew staying away from work, “protesting against the change” in work schedule.

While the Corporation management claimed that all services were operated as per schedule, union sources said about 250 out of 1,500 services could not be operated due to the agitation.

A management spokesman said earlier drivers were allowed to operate the service from originating point to the destination. Now, after completing 8 hours of duty, the drivers were changed as the management did not want to tax them.

This was opposed by unions as they said that it would cut their overtime allowance. A majority of the drivers welcomed the new work schedule as it would give them much needed rest, he added.

A. Soundararajan of the CITU said the change would affect the weekly holiday of the drivers, besides reducing their overtime. The management, instead of giving the actual OT allowance, had fixed a flat rate, which was opposed by unions. He claimed that services from Chennai, Coimbatore and Marthandam were affected by the agitation.