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Labor dispute locks tourists out of Pompeii

ROME (AP) - A labor dispute kept tourists locked out of Pompeii on Monday, the latest in a spate of hours-long closures at the ancient Roman ruins.

The gates were unlocked a couple of hours, 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 that three assemblies planned later this week were cancelled, meaning visitors could expect regular opening hours.

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.