The Eiffel Tower has been closed since Wednesday afternoon due to employee strikes over a new ticketing system causing “monstrous” lines.
Workers say the new ticketing system is causing up to three-hour waits for visitors waiting to purchase a ticket and hour-long waits for those who already reserved an entrance time online.
Last month, the Eiffel Tower began allotting about half its tickets to online pre-sales. Previously, the monument only allowed about 20 percent of visitors to reserve an entrance slot ahead of time.
In addition, tower management has changed the elevator system in each of the monument's legs. The decision “creates lines that are at times monstrous and often lopsided,” a workers' union said in a statement. While some of the elevators go up and down only half-full, others get backed up, causing extremely long wait times.
The tower remained closed Thursday during negotiations. Workers want more flexibility in managing the flow of visitors. “We're not talking about a failure,” a spokesperson for the union told France 24, “there's just an adjustment that needs to be made.”
The Eiffel Tower is one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions. More than 6 million people climb the iron tower every year.