GM Oshawa starts making masks for healthcare workers in May

Inside the GM plant shortly before its closure in 2019.

General Motors in Oshawa recently announced its plan to produce one million masks per month to support the needs of healthcare workers.

Colin James, president of Unifor Local 222, says the Oshawa GM plant will use a portion of its facility to produce surgical masks to fulfill the needs of healthcare workers. He says the plant will hire 50 additional workers, two shifts worth, to meet the demand.

According to James, workers who were previously laid off due to the GM plant closure are being “recalled” to fill the positions. He adds the position is contract work and will include producing masks for approximately one year.

According to James, Health Canada is currently the sole receiver of the personal protective equipment (PPE). The GM plant in Oshawa will be producing three varieties of surgical masks for Health Canada.

James says production of the masks should begin mid-May.

“The health care community has put out requests for everybody to help and [GM] stepped up to the plate,” says James. “We hope to start producing shortly – right within the next month.”