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Eiffel Tower Reopens After Strike Causes $2M In Loss

The Eiffel Tower has reopened to visitors after a six-day strike by workers led to lost revenue of about $2 million.

Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE), the agency responsible for operations at the monument, announced that it had reached an agreement with the worker unions. While the agency promised to address worker grievances, it must be noted that this was the second such strike in three months.

Both times, the strikes revolved around concerns about the maintenance of the Eiffel Tower by SETE. Talking to The Guardian, union representative Stéphane Dieu accused the agency of prioritizing short-term gains over long-term maintenance of the iconic monument. They also warned that failure to act now would only make the repairs that much more severe. Denis Vavassori, who worked at the monument for the past 21 years, said: “I’ve never seen it in such a state. The more time goes by, the bigger the repairs will need to be.”

The status of the Eiffel Tower has brought conflicting opinions. Some experts have given assurances regarding the durability of the structure. However, many others have raised concerns about its deteriorating condition. A report last year highlighted that many parts of the tower were getting rusty. The ongoing painting project, which was delayed multiple times during the pandemic, has been also accused of lead contamination.

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At the same time, SETE is also having ongoing discussions with the Paris city hall around future investments and revenue-sharing investments. The current proposal aims to increase the entry fee and divert the increased revenues towards maintenance work.