Green Jobs Oshawa is holding an online Press Conference and Public Forum to highlight the desperate need for more PPE for our front line workers, especially N95 masks. We are calling on our governments to use their emergency powers to ramp up domestic production, starting with the obvious location of GM's largely empty Oshawa facility.
Michael Hurley - President of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE)
Pam Parks - front line health worker
Rebecca Keetch - Green Jobs Oshawa organizer
Moderated by Tony Leah, auto-worker and Green Jobs Oshawa Organizer.
-Canada has a shortage of over 100 million N95 masks
-Lack of N95 masks has led to Canada having one of the worst rates of infection by health care workers in the world.
-GM will be employing 50-60 workers to produce surgical masks in a portion of the Oshawa Assembly complex, but not N95 masks.
-GM will be using only 30,000 square feet of the 10 million square foot Oshawa complex for masks. There is ample space to expand, there are thousands of highly skilled workers available who lost their jobs when GM ended vehicle production in Oshawa.
-GM is making both N95 masks and surgical masks in their smaller plant in Warren, Michigan - they can manufacture N95 masks in Oshawa.
-There have so far been 4,043 cases of Covid-19 among health care workers in Ontario – 17% of all cases in the province. Nine of those workers have died.