France Terror Jihad Eiffel
The Eiffel Tower was temporarily closed on 22 May after workers walked off to protest increase in pickpocketing.Reuters

The Eiffel Tower was temporarily closed on 22 May when workers walked off to protest against the lack of protection for visitors and staff from pickpockets.

The Parisian monument was reopened in the late after with workers reaching a temporary agreement with management to keep the monument open through the long weekend, the New York Times reported.

There are about 80 workers at the monument, with some welcoming tourists, selling tickets or cleaning.

Stéphane Dieu, a spokesman for the CGT union that represents the workers, told reporters that pickpocketing incidents had increased recently. "We realised it was getting serious last weekend when three of our employees received direct threats, and we didn't want to wait until it came to physical violence," Dieu said.

According to the Times, pickpocketing bands usually work in groups of two, three or four. However, it is now believed that up to 30 pickpockets are working the monument, Dieu said. Often, the pickpockets purchase tickets to go up the tower and stalk tourists on the first, second and third levels, the Times reported.

Dieu said that the monument's management company agreed to incorporate extra private security during the long weekend. Paris police will also add more forces to patrol the area in and around the iconic monument.

The Wall Street Journal reported that this is not the first time a worker strike has forced the landmark to close. The Eiffel Tower was closed for two days in 2013 when workers walked out over working conditions. A similar walkout over pickpockets occurred in 2013 at the most visited museum in the city, the Louvre.