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Gates of problem-plagued Pompeii closed again for hours in labor dispute, vexing tourists

A labor dispute has again kept tourists locked out of Pompeii in a spate of hours-long closures at the ancient Roman ruins.

The gates were unlocked a couple of hours late Monday, frustrating tourists wanting to enter the sprawling ruins in early morning.

The dispute over work schedules and back pay began last week, keeping thousands of visitors shut out for hours at a time during union meetings. The government office that runs Pompeii said similar assemblies are set for each morning through Thursday this week and could cause visitors "inconvenience."

With funding chronically short for maintenance, some of Pompeii's ruins have suffered partial collapses in recent years. Bureaucracy has slowed the spending of special funds for repairs.