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Oshawa’s GM plant reaches mask-making milestone

Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter was on hand at Oshawa’s GM plant recently to celebrate a new milestone of four million masks made as part of a commitment to make 10 million masks in response to the pandemic. (Photo courtesy of GM Canada)

By Courtney Bachar/The Oshawa Express/LJI Reporter

GM Canada’s Oshawa plant has reached a new milestone with four million masks made as part of a commitment to make 10 million masks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter and Durham Regional Chair John Henry were on hand to celebrate the milestone, who acknowledged the achievement at a recent Regional Council meeting.

“General Motors across North America are playing a significant role in the pandemic,” says Carter.

“Let’s hope Canada, Ontario and all of us look at the opportunity of making sure that PPE should be produced here so we have it at our disposal, especially as we see the numbers across the province continue to escalate.”

The federal government contracted GM to make the masks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in which 10 million masks will be produced at its Oshawa Operations facility.

GM received its Medical Device Establishment License on April 22.

With support from GM’s global supply chain, the company sourced materials, build a ‘Canadian Mask Making’ clean room with enhanced safety protocols, installed the required equipment, and recalled and trained 60 workers for two shifts of production in Oshawa in partnership with Unifor.

“I’m proud of the men and women from Unifor that have adapted their skills and brought their ideas,” says Carter. “The quality of work being done is always being historically noted in regards to automobile business here in Oshawa. That same quality to detail and innovation towards the finished product was demonstrated with these masks.”

Production of the masks officially began on May 26, 2020.

“[These masks will] keep frontline healthcare workers and fellow Canadians safer as we navigate the second wave of COVID-19 together,” states GM.

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