Under the closed Eiffel Tower, tourists castigate “permanent strikes” in France

REPORT – The most visited monument in France remains closed this Friday for the fourth consecutive day following a social movement. The tourists, for the most part disappointed, regret the lack of information about this strike.

Fourth day of the strike at the Eiffel Tower this Friday. The Parisian monument will remain closed for the fourth consecutive day due to a social movement at the call of the CGT and FO renewed on Friday. “The continuation of the strike was voted unanimously” by the hundred or so employees present at the general meeting, CGT manager Denis Vavassori told AFP.

A social movement that disappoints tourists who have come. If some of them, mostly from neighboring countries of France are conciliatory, others blame the Hexagon and “its permanent strikes”. “We have been on French territory for two days and we hear in the media that the employees of and now those of the Eiffel Tower are on strike! That’s a lot! ”Indignant a British tourist on Thursday. “I came with my two daughters in June 2014 and the Eiffel Tower was already closed to the public. I have the impression that the Eiffel Tower is still closed… ”, explains a Dutch father. Most other tourists say they are “sufficiently satisfied to see the Eiffel Tower in front of them” when others, coming from other continents, with tears in their eyes, see a dream vanish when they were very close to the goal.

Dani, a young 10-year-old Honduran was to “celebrate his birthday at the top of the Eiffel Tower” and cries hot tears … The indignant parents do not understand why they were not informed sooner. “If we had known about this strike two days ago, we would have taken tickets to Paris another day!”. Everyone regrets the lack of information about this strike. Indeed, tourists become aware of the social movement only by seeing the electronic panels located at the foot of the Tower.

“The continuation of the movement was renewed unanimously” by some 70 people from the day team present at the general assembly this morning, said Clément Bain, FO delegate, present on site. “We are waiting for the goodwill of the general management to receive us,” he continued.

On Tuesday, the unions voted for a renewable strike movement, at the call of the and. In an open letter signed by 230 employees, the staff of the Eiffel Tower denounced “the infertility of social dialogue with management and the deliberate lack of transparency on strategic decisions” to come. The unions also fear the hiring of executives when the hiring of personnel is “frozen”. Finally, they evoke a “concern” relating to an upcoming painting campaign, about which they claim to have not been informed and which according to them could present health risks for employees due to the presence of lead residues on the structure. .

. The company had in particular been accused of having concealed from staff representatives a report warning of the presence of lead in the paints. The agents chose to strike before the Christmas holidays “so as not to penalize visitors, not to take tourists hostage, but we no longer have a choice, we must make ourselves heard,” adds Stéphane Dieu.

“We don’t want to take tourists hostage”

Stéphane Dieu, CGT delegate

A loss of one million tourists in 2016

For its part, the company “regrets that visitors already present on the square are penalized by this situation”, apologizes to them and “does everything to allow the Tower to be put back into operation quickly”. The director general of SETE, indicated to have received last week, “51 demands, on subjects of all kinds, some of which have already been dealt with”. Anne Yannic also explains that she accepted about twenty union demands on Tuesday morning. However, she explains that not all job-related claims can be accepted.

“We have suffered a significant drop in attendance since January 2016. We have lost more than a million tourists this year compared to 2015. It is therefore impossible to speak of hiring”, proclaims the director who regrets “the unfavorable message that this strike is weighing on Parisian tourism ”. In addition, this ensures that the social framework of SETE is very “protective” and “very high wages, in a very tense context”.