Linde Staff Rally Against Planned Praxair Merger

Thousands of Linde AG employees rallied Thursday to protest against the gas maker's planned merger with U.S. competitor Praxair Inc. and possible job cuts, a labor union said.

About 2,500 staff in total joined rallies at more than 30 sites, including 1,200 staff who protested at the group's headquarters in Munich, according to IG BCE. The labor union said it feared that thousands of jobs could be cut and workers' impact on management decisions could be weakened if Linde finalized the merger.

Linde and Praxair said in December they intended to merge into a company with revenues of about $30 billion. The companies haven't disclosed the details of the planned transaction yet and it hasn't been approved by Linde's supervisory board.

Linde said in a statement on the protests that the planned merger would increase job security in the long run because the company would become more competitive.

"The entitlement to co-determination in the workplace and the tried and tested system of [employee] representation on the supervisory board will remain intact," Linde said.

Write to Friedrich Geiger at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 27, 2017 12:44 ET (16:44 GMT)