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Union launches legal action against Siemens

Pressure continued to grow on German electronics and engineering giant Siemens AG Monday after the nation's biggest industrial union said it had launched legal action against the Munich-based company.

IG Metall said it had lodged action against Siemens AG for allegedly attempting to manipulate union works' council elections at the company and for making payments to its rival, the Independent Labor Representation (AUB). The AUB's founder Wilhelm Schelsky, who is also a former head of Siemens' works council, was arrested earlier this year as part of the widening corruption scandal that has hit the company. Schelsky's consulting firm is alleged to have received over five years payments of more than 14 million ($18.7 million) without rendering any corresponding return for services. In launching its action, IG Metall claims that Siemens may have moved to try to promote the AUB as a competitor to the IG Metall. „We suspect, and have circumstantial evidence, that Siemens financed AUB to build a counter union to IG Metall,” union chief Juergen Peters said. (