Toronto, Ontario — GM Canada announced Friday that it would be crafting face masks for health care professionals at its idled Oshawa, Ont. plant.
The company said it is prepared portions of the Oshawa assembly plant, which closed its doors in Dec. 2019, to produce face masks based on the GM production model already working in Michigan.
The automaker plans to craft approximately one million masks per month at cost for the Canadian government with an estimate of 50 employees supporting two production shifts.
The masks will not be of the N95 variety, said a GM representative.
“N95 masks represent about five percent of the need in Canada. These masks we will make in Oshawa are for both health care workers and Canadians where there is a greater need,”
Unifor president Jerry Dias said he fully supports GM’s decision to support relief efforts, and the union will strive to “make whatever our country needs.”
“The fact that Unifor members will help GM produce as many as a million fabric masks a month, for Health Canada at cost, is an example of what we can do when we work together,” he said.
The project still requires additional negotiations with governments and Unifor partners, though GM will provide updates as it prepares to launch production.