A sign at the icon of the ‘City of Light’ informed English-speaking visitors that the tower was closed due to a “social dispute.”
The closure of the tower in the height of tourist season disappointed many Paris visitors.
On the final day of her Paris vacation, Olga Castillanos, 26, of Los Angeles told the Associated Press that visiting the Eiffel Tower “is the last thing we wanted to do as tourists and we were not able to do it.”
The frustration of another American tourist, Jamie McNulty, was reported by Euronews.
“It’s disappointing,” he said, “coming here and spending this much money to come here, and then you can’t come to the one landmark that people probably want to see most.”
One of the items workers are upset about is the length of time it takes for scheduled maintenance to be completed. Work to repair one of the tower’s elevators reportedly has been going on for five years.
“We’re on strike because we’ve been complaining about the handling of maintenance work for several years.” a union spokesman told reporters. “It’s had a severe effect on how we cope with visitors and also on our working conditions.”
About 7 million tourists visit the tower each year.
Getting there: If the strike is a short one and you still want to visit the Eiffel Tower this summer, a quick check of Chicago-based Orbitz.com found that round-trip airfare from Chicago and eight nights of lodging in Paris would cost from $2,300 to $2,700 in mid-July.