Unifor members in Thunder Bay to help make 18,000 ventilators

Unifor members at Local 1075 are getting ready to manufacture parts for urgently needed ventilators at the Bombardier plant that usually manufactures bilevel GO Trains, streetcars and subway trains.

“Our highly skilled workforce is more than capable to step up and make this life saving equipment needed to battle COVID-19,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

As many as 50 members are being recalled from layoff announced last month because of the pandemic.

They will begin producing parts starting next week for a ventilator company.

“To have 455 members back at work, doing such important work to help health care workers save lives is a proud moment for our local,” said Dominic Pasqualino, President of Unifor Local 1075.

Bombardier’s contract with Brampton’s O-Two Medical Technologies means Unifor members will do sanding, painting and assembly work on the e700 portable ventilators for the Ontario government. The ventilators are key in the treatment of COVID-19 as they deliver oxygen to patients when their lungs no longer can.

“The initial contract says we will produce 18,000 of these ventilators required for our hospitals and long term care homes,” said Pasqualino. “And we would welcome more of this work if needed.”

Unifor members will also assemble display screens and install battery boxes before shipping the ventilators to O-Two for final assembly and testing.