Eiffel Tower shuts as workers strike over long visitor queues

FILE PHOTO: Visitors queue to visit the Eiffel tower in Paris, France, June 2, 2018. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - Staff at the Eiffel Tower walked out on strike on Wednesday in a dispute over lengthening queues at the Paris landmark, forcing it to close during the peak summer tourist season.

Talks between the CGT trade union and the tower’s management over a new access system - which according to workers was responsible for “monstrous” lines of visitors - reached deadlock on Wednesday afternoon, and the site closed at 4 pm (1400 GMT).

It was not clear whether the strike would continue on Thursday.

The new system, which from July has reserved separate lifts for different types of ticket-holders, was exhausting staff who had to deal with the frustrated tourists, union officials said.

The site’s management has said the summer months were always busy. [nL5N1UR79E]

Each year over six million tourists go up the 342-metre (1,063-foot) tower, the French capital’s most famous attraction.

Reporting by Jack Hunter, Editing by Sarah White and David Stamp