Eiffel Tower shut down for third day as workers continue strike

The Eiffel Tower has been closed to visitors for the third day in a row (Denys Nevozhai/Unsplash)
The Eiffel Tower has been closed to visitors for the third day in a row (Denys Nevozhai/Unsplash)

Striking workers have closed the Eiffel Tower for the third day in a row.

Staff at the world famous 135-year-old structure are fighting for wages to increase proportional to revenue from ticket sales.

They also want the tower to be better maintained as the landmark is showing traces of rust on some of its ironwork.

A message on the tower’s website shows that the attraction could also be off-limits to visitors on Thursday.

One of the strikers' representatives, Denis Vavassori of the CGT union, has previously warned that their protest action "could go on for several days, even weeks."

The operator of the 330-metre tower has not responded to requests for comment.

The tower earns millions of euros annually for the city of Paris, said its owner, Paris deputy mayor Emmanuel Grégoire.

Extended closures during the Covid-19 pandemic deprived the landmark of 130 million euros in revenue, he said but insisted that tower maintenance has not suffered as a consequence.

"The monument is in very good shape," he told broadcaster France Info, adding that he expects the tower operating company to find a solution with the strikers.

The tower will feature prominently in the Paris Olympic Games this summer and the following Paralympics.

The Olympic and Paralympic medals in Paris are being embedded with a piece of the Eiffel Tower in the middle.

Union leaders have repeatedly criticised the tower operator's business model, saying it's based on an inflated estimate of future visitor numbers, at the expense of maintenance costs and employees' pay.

The Eiffel Tower is typically open 365 days a year. Last year, the monument was closed to visitors for 10 days during massive protests across France against the government's plan to reform the country's pension system.