IG Metall chief urged to quit

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The Independent Online
Pressure mounted on Franz Steinkuhler yesterday to step down as head of IG Metall, Germany's most powerful union, as striking eastern German steelworkers expressed dismay over allegations of large-scale share speculation and possible insider trading.

In its editorial the Handelsblatt newspaper wrote that by his purchase of DM1m ( pounds 405,500) worth of Mercedes shares 'Steinkuhler has lost his union credibility'. On Monday Mr Steinkuhler admitted having bought the Mercedes shares shortly before its parent company, Daimler-Benz, announced a share swap deal with Mercedes that sent the share price rocketing. Mr Steinkuhler sits on the supervisory board of Daimler-Benz, but he denied having had any knowledge of the share swap plan.