Tourists looking to explore Paris’ most famous landmark were turned away from the Eiffel Tower on Monday as workers went on strike over what they contend is mismanagement that could jeopardize the 135-year-old monument as the city prepares to host the summer Olympic Games.

Visitors to the wrought-iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars were greeted Monday morning with “closed signs” at the base of the structure and tower’s website.

The strike could go on for several days, according to union officials.

Monday’s protest marks the second time in two months that workers have shut down the landmark that draws an estimated 20,000 visitors per day.

Labor union officials claim that Paris City Hall, which owns 99% of the Eiffel Tower operator, SETE, is relying on an “unsustainable” business model that overestimates ticket sales to the monument and underestimates the cost of maintenance and repairs.

The union that represents 400 Eiffel Tower workers contends that the city’s current maintenance plan for the tower works to the detriment of visitors and puts a heavier workload on employees.

The labor action comes as Paris prepares to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, which are scheduled to begin on July 26 and feature pieces of the Eiffel Tower in the medals that will be handed out during the games.

SETE claims the tower’s maintenance budget is based on an estimate that the monument will draw 7.4 million visitors this year, a figure the union says has never been achieved. The tower, according to union leaders, usually welcomes about 6 million visitors a year.

A similar strike shut down the Eiffel Tower on Dec. 27, the day that marked the 100th anniversary of the death of Gustave Eiffel, the French engineer whose company designed and built the tower for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris. That strike occurred as union members were also negotiating a new labor contract with the city.

Union officials are urging the city to review the maintenance budget for the tower.

In a statement released in December, the union predicted that under the city’s current budget, the tower could be closed during the Olympic Games due to a financial shortfall in maintenance costs.

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