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Schumer: Praxair pledges no area job cuts after merger

Praxair's CEO has pledged not to cut any of the company's more than 1,000 jobs in Western New York after completing a merger with Linde AG, Sen. Charles Schumer said Friday.

Praxair's Technology Center in the Town of Tonawanda is the company's main engineering hub, and its Niagara Falls site produces hydrogen.

Schumer had called the CEO, Steve Angel, on Thursday, two days after Praxair announced plans to acquire Germany-based Linde for $35.1 billion, to urge the company to preserve its jobs in Western New York.

“While the merger is expected to take some time to complete, Praxair's CEO assures me that there will be no job cuts in Western New York as a result of this merger, and in the long-run this agreement could potentially have a positive impact on employment in the region," Schumer said in a statement. "After any merger that involves an important Upstate company like Praxair that employs over a thousand workers, I worry about any potential negative impacts on our Upstate New York jobs. But today we can breathe a sigh of relief and these workers and their families can enjoy a more stress-free Christmas season."

Schumer's office said Angel made the commitment in a follow-up message late Thursday, after the senator and the CEO had their conversation.

A Praxair spokeswoman could not immediately be reached to comment.

[Related: Schumer urges Praxair to protect local jobs after merger]

The Praxair-Linde merger – which was revived after an earlier attempt this summer failed – would bring together two of the world's largest suppliers of industrial-gas products.

The merger would create a company with more than $30 billion in annual sales and a market capitalization of more than $60 billion. The combined company would operate under the Linde name, and its board of directors would be split evenly between representatives from the two companies.

Schumer has previously reached out to corporate leaders about other mergers that had the potential to affect workers in New York State, including KeyCorp's recent acquisition of First Niagara Financial Group.

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