Strike shuts Paris’s Eiffel Tower to visitors

Elevators stop working after staff walk out of French monument in protest over pay and security and working conditions.

eiffel tower
Employees say Eiffel Tower's facilities are insufficient to welcome the daily flood of visitors [AFP]

The Eiffel Tower’s elevators have stopped after French workers went on a strike in response to an industrial dispute over security and working conditions, in addition to pay disputes over late-running maintenance work.

Thousands of visitors hoping for views of the Paris skyline were left grounded on Tuesday as many of the tower’s 300 staff walked out the monument.

Union representatives said they had been complaining about mismanagment of repairs to the 324-metre wrought iron structure for years.

Staff say overcrowding poses a risk to security and undermines their working conditions.

Renovation of the west lift was planned to last 18 months as the work began in 2008 but the project remains unfinished.

According to the employees, the facilities are insufficient to welcome the daily flood of up to 30,000 visitors.

Built for the Universal Exhibition in 1889, the tower was meant to last 20 years but has since become a symbol of the French capital.

It welcomes almost seven million visitors a year, according to its website, which operators say makes it the most-visited paid-for monument in the world.

Source: News Agencies