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France

French union strike shuts down Eiffel Tower

© afp

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-06-25

The Eiffel Tower in Paris was forced to shut down Tuesday because of a strike, disappointing tourists eager to climb the 124-year-old landmark. The CGT union representing most of its 300 workers is in talks over salary raises and profit sharing.

France’s Eiffel Tower – normally open 365 days a year – shut down Tuesday because of a strike, leaving tourists at the landmark Paris monument stuck on the ground.

The company that manages the tower says the CGT union, which represents most of the Eiffel Tower’s 300 workers, called the walkout in the morning. It was not immediately clear if the strike would move into a second day.

The CGT also complained that one of the five lifts which was due to have been renovated and up and running following a decision taken in 2008 was still not ready, putting pressure on the employees.

"The waiting lines are growing longer, the visitors are growing more and more impatient and the work conditions are deteriorating," a CGT statement said.

Company director Nicolas Lefebvre told The Associated Press that management and the union are in negotiations this week over salary raises, company profit-sharing policy and other issues.

Tourists were crestfallen when they learned they would have to forgo the classic Paris thrill of a climb up the tower.

“Well, it’s my first time here and actually it is our last day,” Olga Castillanos, 26, of Los Angeles told reporters. Visiting the Eiffel Tower “is the last thing we wanted to do as tourists and we were not able to do it.”

The Eiffel Tower had to be evacuated for two hours last Tuesday after a man threatened to throw himself off in the latest of a string of suicide bids.

The 324-metre (1,063-foot) structure attracts about seven million tourists every year.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)
 

Date created : 2013-06-25

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