July 17, 1997 in Nation/World

Eiffel Tower Workers Stage Protest Strike

Compiled From Wire Services

Tourists hoping to see Paris from atop the intricate iron framework of the Eiffel Tower were locked out Wednesday, after striking workers forced the monument to close.

A surprise strike by workers angry over the firing of one of their colleagues kept the famed tower from opening, spokeswoman Martine Varenne said. She said she did not know how long the strike would last.

With more 5.5 million visitors in 1996, the Eiffel Tower is a world-famous tourist site.

Varenne said the worker was dismissed without severance pay after he was accused of shouting at and shoving a British tourist who was suffering from vertigo and did not want to take an elevator to the tower’s second level.

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