Striking Workers Have Shut Down the Eiffel Tower in Paris - The World News

Striking Workers Have Shut Down the Eiffel Tower in Paris

The Eiffel Tower, arguably the most recognizable landmark in Paris, was closed off to visitors starting on Wednesday due to a workers’ strike.

The shutdown took place on the centenary of the death of Gustave Eiffel, the French engineer whose company designed and built the tower for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris. The landmark is expected to play a large role in the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Staff at the Eiffel Tower declared a strike ahead of contract negotiations with the Paris municipal government, which owns the landmark, according to the news outlet France24.

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People walk through the aisles of an art fair with sculptures in the foreground of one booth and paintings on the wall of another in the background.

The tower can receive up to 20,000 visitors per day, a spokesperson told France24. According to the leaders of the General Confederation of Labour, France’s second largest labor union, the Tower’s management company, SETE, has put in place an “unsustainable” business model that is far “too ambitious” and overly optimistic of revenue from future ticket sales while grossly underestimating the cost of maintenance and repairs, according The Guardian.

The union claims SETE has based the budget on the Eiffel Tower drawing 7.4 million visitors per year, a figure the landmark has never achieved. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, just under seven million people visited the Tower at its peak; since, the visitor total has failed to top six million. 

Visitors are still able to visit the glass esplanade below the tower and, according to The New York Times, the tower is slated to reopen sometime on Thursday. The Eiffel Tower, typically open 365 days a year, was last closed in March when many landmark sites shut during strikes related to a hike in the country’s retirement age.

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