Eiffel Tower in Paris Reopens to Visitors after Six-Day Closure Due to Employee Strike

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The operator of the 330-metre (1,083-foot) tower, Société d'Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE), said a deal was reached with unions on Saturday.

The Eiffel Tower in Paris reopened to visitors on Sunday after six days of closure because of striking employees demanding better maintenance of the historic landmark and salary hikes.

Workers first went on strike on February 19 in protest over the way the monument, which is showing traces of rust, is managed.

The operator of the 330-metre (1,083-foot) tower, Société d'Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE), said a deal was reached with unions on Saturday.

SETE and trade unions representing the workers “reached an end-of-strike agreement stipulating that the parties will regularly review the company’s business model, maintenance costs, and sales through a body that will meet every six months,” the company said.

It also added that it reached an agreement with the unions after promising to allocate an “ambitious €380 million ((£325m, $412m) investment by 2031” for works and maintenance of the landmark.

This week, SETE also launched salary negotiations, expected to be finalised next month, after employees on strike demanded an increase proportionate to revenue from ticket sales.

It is the second such strike at the iconic landmark in the last three months, as Paris looks ahead to hosting the 2024 Olympic Games this summer.

SETE apologised to ticket holders and said they would be reimbursed for bookings impacted by the action, which resulted in the loss of some 100,000 admissions.

The Eiffel Tower last closed on December 27 as workers launched a protest – again over its management – to mark the centenary of the death of the tower’s creator, Gustave Eiffel, a civil engineer who made his name building bridges and viaducts for the French railway network.

The 135-year-old tower, which is typically open 365 days a year, will feature prominently in the July 26 to August 11 Paris Games and the following Paralympics. The Olympic and Paralympic medals in Paris are being embedded with pieces from a hexagonal chunk of iron taken from the historic landmark.

Unions claim that Paris City Hall, which owns 99% of SETE, is underestimating the cost of planned maintenance and repairs to the Eiffel Tower ahead of the Olympics.