Eiffel Tower Employees Strike for Six Days for Better Salaries and Improvements

By Miya Gonzalez 

March 7, 2024
Photo credit: Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP

The Eiffel Tower was built in 1887 by Gustave Eiffel. He built this tower to celebrate the 100th year anniversary of the French Revolution. The Eiffel Tower lights up the entire city as a reminder of inspiring dreams, and is the most visited monument in the world. Over 7 million people go to visit the tower a year.

From February 19th to the 24th, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, had to be closed to the public due to an employee strike. The employees are seeking better repayment and want the ticket price increase to be reflected on their salaries. It was the second strike in the span of a couple of months. Signs on the tower informed visitors of its closure in different languages. These strikes occurred on the 100th anniversary of its creator Gustave Eiffel. Negotiations for better pay are expected to continue. 

  The employees went on strike because the ticket sales increased but their salary stayed the same. The tower was getting a bunch of visitors so they increased the price of the tickets to make more money but the employees were not happy when they were still being paid the same amount. The employees also wanted to put a bigger budget towards better maintenance for the tower. In an article from the New York Times by Aurelien Breeden wrote, ¨SETE, the company that operates the monument, is jeopardizing essential renovation work. The unionized workers have threatened to continue their walkout as long as necessary.¨ 

The employee unions also want budget increases for better maintenance of the tower structure. Employees felt that the tower needed restoration because they started noticing areas with rust. Since its construction in 1889, the tower has been totally repainted 19 times. The monument was designed to last only 20 years, however, it has been preserved for 135 years. Proper maintenance of the steel tower indicates that repainting it every seven years is the most important to maintain its integrity. In an inspection of the structure in 2016, 884 faults were found, 68 of which were serious. Only a small percentage of the current paint types adhere to the original lead-based paint. SETE, which provides tower management, has promised to assign $412 million dollars for repairs through 2031. This year is especially important to address this issue due to the Olympic Games coming to Paris and hosting 15 million visitors.