Eiffel Tower workers on strike, monument closed

Posted: 06/25/13 at 1:35 pm EDT

PARIS (AP) -- France's Eiffel Tower -- normally open 365 days a year -- shut down Tuesday because of a strike, leaving tourists at the landmark Paris monument stuck on the ground.

The company that manages the tower says the CGT union, which represents most of the Eiffel Tower's 300 workers, called the walkout in the morning. It was not immediately clear if the strike would move into a second day.

Company director Nicolas Lefebvre told The Associated Press that management and the union are in negotiations this week over salary raises, company profit-sharing policy and other issues.

Tourists were crestfallen when they learned they would have to forgo the classic Paris thrill of a climb up the tower.

"Well, it's my first time here and actually it is our last day," said Olga Castillanos, 26, of Los Angeles. Visiting the Eiffel Tower "is the last thing we wanted to do as tourists and we were not able to do it."

The 124-year-old tower gets about 25,000 tourists daily. Though it is open every day, it occasionally closes because of suicide threats, bomb threats -- or strikes.

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