The Eiffel Tower closed for the second day due to a strike

The Eiffel Tower remains closed on Tuesday, February 20, for the second consecutive day, due to a strike launched by the two unions representing staff who denounce the management of the site, a representative of the Eiffel Tower confirmed to Agence France-Presse

The Eiffel Tower closed for the second day due to a strike

The Eiffel Tower remains closed on Tuesday, February 20, for the second consecutive day, due to a strike launched by the two unions representing staff who denounce the management of the site, a representative of the Eiffel Tower confirmed to Agence France-Presse. CGT.

The Paris town hall, the main shareholder of the Eiffel Tower Operating Company (Sete), “refuses to negotiate for the moment”, underlined Alexandre Leborgne ahead of the general assembly which must ratify the renewal of the movement. In the middle of the winter school holidays and five months before the Olympic Games (July 26 - August 11), the CGT and FO want to force the town hall to change a model that they consider "untenable" for Sete.

The two unions, which had already launched a strike leading to the closure of the Iron Lady on December 27, the centenary of the death of Gustave Eiffel, criticize the town hall for “seeking profitability at all costs and in the short term”. They ask to be “reasonable in terms of financial requirements in order to ensure the sustainability of the monument and the company that manages it”.

Rising prices

The amount of the fee that Sete pays to the town hall, the price of admissions and the budget for the works, three essential financial parameters, are being reviewed with an amendment to the public service delegation contract which runs until 2030. The amendment must be validated by the Paris Council by the summer. The option envisaged is to increase prices by 20%, but interpretations differ as to the fee and the budget for the work.

The economic balance of the Eiffel Tower, which in 2023 returned to higher attendance than it was before Covid-19, with 6.3 million visitors, was weakened by some 120 million euros in shortfalls. win during the two years of health crisis (2020 and 2021).

To cope, Sete was recapitalized to the tune of 60 million euros in 2021. But to the loss of revenue was added an equivalent additional bill - around 130 million euros - for additional costs of renovation work, mainly linked to the current painting campaign, complicated by the discovery of traces of lead.

Frustrated tourists

Despite the sums invested, "numerous points of corrosion are visible, symptoms of a worrying deterioration of the 135-year-old monument", the unions worry, deploring the "100 million euros invested for a partial painting campaign with only 3% of the monument stripped.” They demand the creation of a “special endowment fund” for future work and accuse Sete and the town hall of postponing the modernization of the elevators and the flickering device.

The closure arouses the frustration of thousands of visitors, mostly foreigners (around 80% according to 2023 statistics).