Our History

Local 22 History

Jul 12, 2005

Your birth certificate (charter) says that you were born on April 3, 1945. The certificate states simply that you were created for the "establishment and future maintenance of a local Union in Detroit, Michigan to be known as Local 22 of Cadillac Motor Car Company".

It's just a few words on a yellow piece of paper signed by people that are mostly gone now. But what a history that piece of paper could tell if the trials and tribulations that your first members went through to bring you into this world were told.

Just reflect for a moment on your past and some of the UAW leaders that have come forth from you.

The Cadillac workers were not new to the UAW. They had organized in September of 1936 when West Side Local 174, "The Home Local of Walter Reuther" was formed. Your membership helped Walther Reuther form that local and to organize it into a meaningful union force.

It was on January 9, 1937, that the 3,800 Cadillac workers staged a sit-down strike and the first picket lines were seen on Clark Street.

On January 12, 1937, the Fleetwood workers followed suit and also staged a sit-down strike, the Fisher Body Plants in Flint, Michigan had already been struck. The first national strike against GM was in full swing. That strike against GM became history when on February 11, 1937, GM agreed that the workers would have representation.


Charles Westphal was the first Unit President for Cadillac at Local 174 and was the Unit Plant Chairman when Local 22 received its charter. On the 3rd of April 1945, separating us from Local 174, he then served Local 22 four terms as president and six terms as plant chairman.

Dave Miller was your very first President when we became Local 22. He too had been active in Local 174 as one of its founders. He was three terms president and three terms plant chairman. He was also a founding member and chairman of the National Council of Senior Citizens. He administered the last oath of office to Walter Reuther upon his reelection to his 13th consecutive term as UAW President, less than a month before he and his wife May were killed in a plane crash on May 9, 1970.

Louis Machetta An active sit down striker, Louis served you in many capacities; among them, plant chairman and two terms president in 1949/50 and 1953/54.

Others have also served as your president and have gone forward to serve the UAW in other capacities on the International Union Level.

They are:

Jim Wagner, Local 22 president two terms 1955/56 and 1959/60 and former Asst. Director of GM UAW.

Jesse Damesworth, Local 22 President two terms – 1960/61 and formerly Coordinator of Unemployment Insurance for all UAW.

Frank Runnels, Local 22 President six consecutive terms 1968 through 1983 and formerly Regional Director of Region 1E, UAW.

M.L. Douglas, Local 22 President two consecutive terms 1983-1989 and formerly Benefits' Representative at Solidarity House.

Ray A. Church, Local 22 President three consecutive terms 1989-1995, who went on to become an International Representative with Region 1A.

Edward T. Ptasznik, Jr., assumed the office of President when Ray Church was called to the International Union and served for 14 months until he was named Labor Liaison for United Way.

Donald Steele, Jr. moved into the Presidency to fill the vacancy left by Ed Ptasznik's appointment. He remained in office until his assignment to the International Union.

Craig A. Nothnagel, Local 22 President for two consecutive terms, who has gone on to the PEL Department at the UAW-GM Center for Human Resources.

George L. McGregor took on the role of President upon Craig's move to the CHR and was our President for two consecutive terms.

Rhonda G. Maurer was elected as our first woman President upon George's retirement and was elected for two terms until she was picked to become an International Representative at Region 1, UAW.

Celso A. Duque was installed as President upon Rhonda's move to the Region and served as our first Hispanic President.

Wiley Turnage has been our President since June 2019, and has had to deal with the retooling of the Detroit/Hamtramck plant to become an all-electric facility now named Factory ZERO. He has also led the membership through the COVID-19 Pandemic and the flood of 2021 with grace,humility and a true affection for the members he represents.

Your membership has grown from its beginning with local 174 and only 80 organizing members. Until 3,800 strong they struck for recognition.

Today, Local 22 represents workers at Detroit/Hamtramck Factory ZERO, the GM LOC Subsystems members at Factory ZERO, the GMPT Romulus Nurses, Factory ZERO Nurses, Aramark Trades & Cleaners and the Kautex/Textron gas tank plant.

Wiley Turnage is your president now, Local 22. Together he and the other officers of this Local union continue striving to make you the best represented local in the entire UAW.We have a legacy left to us by those UAW pioneers. Let us be aware and proud of that legacy.

Bruce Arnott (updated by M. Hasper 2021)

Former Recording Secretary