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October 2019

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Larry Hogan

Retired Fourth District International Representative Larry Hogan, who also served as business manager of Washington, D.C., Local 26 and later saw his son George Hogan elected to the same position, died on July 17 after a bout with cancer. He was 91.

George Hogan was recently re-elected to a second three-year term as Local 26's business manager. Five generations of the Hogan family have been Local 26 members, beginning with Larry's grandfather and George's great-grandfather in the early part of the 20th century.

"He called me every day and was always concerned about what Local 26 was doing," George Hogan said. "During my first three years [as business manager], he was my counsel. Anytime I needed advice, or needed someone to turn to, he was there.

"He was my rock."

The elder Hogan was born in Washington and initiated into Local 26 in 1951. He was a member of various committees and on the executive board before eventually serving as vice president and president. He was elected business manager in 1974.

While serving as president, he saw his son begin his own apprenticeship.

"He kind of guided me along, but he never pulled any punches for me," George said. "He never let me get away with anything. He told our instructors, 'You don't treat him any differently.'

"He started us on the path of getting better things for our members. He was always well-liked and very diplomatic in handling situations. To be honest, I guess I kind of learned that from him."

Larry Hogan's tenure as business manager lasted less than two years, however. In April 1976, he joined the Fourth District staff to work under then-Vice President B.G. Williamson.

George Hogan said his father missed the challenge of being in charge of his own local but enjoyed servicing local unions throughout the Fourth District and the chance it gave him to travel in rural Virginia and West Virginia.

Following his appointment as an international representative, the elder Hogan moved to Strasburg, Va., on the border with West Virginia.

"He always told people that he loved living in the Shenandoah Valley," George Hogan said.

After his retirement in 1992, Larry Hogan moved to Florida and lived on a golf course so he could devote more time to his favorite hobby, but he returned annually to the Washington area for Local 26's golf tournament. He also swore in his son as business manager when he was first elected in 2016.

In addition to George, the elder Hogan is survived by another son, Larry Jr., also a Local 26 member; a daughter, Sharon Beecher; and a brother, Warren, a retired Local 26 member.

David Hogan, Larry's nephew and Warren's son, is a current Local 26 member. Several other members of the extended Hogan family have been Local 26 members over the last century. Larry Hogan also was active with the Washington Building Trades Council during his career.

Not long after taking over as business manager, George Hogan was in a meeting with some signatory IBEW contractors when one of them heard him talking from across the room.

"He came up to me and said, 'George, I was leaning back there and couldn't see your face, but I swear if I didn't know any better, that was Larry Hogan talking,'" the younger Hogan said.

"I told him, 'You can't give me a better compliment.'"

The officers and staff send their deepest condolences to the Hogan family during this difficult time.


Larry Hogan

Anthony "Tony" Makris

Retired Third District International Representative Anthony Makris died in May at age 90.

Brother Makris was born in Bayonne, N.J. and served two years in the U.S. Army, including a deployment in the Korean War.

He was initiated into Kearney, N.J., Local 1470 the month he left the Army and went to work as a tool and die maker at Western Electric's Kearney Works.

Twelve years later he was elected business manager of the local, which, at the time, had close to 14,000 members. Makris held that position from 1965 to 1971 and was president of the system council, representing about 90,000 manufacturing members working for Western Electric.

"Tony was a real link to those old days when the IBEW had 1 million members and more manufacturing members than any other classification," said retired Third District International Vice President Don Siegel, who worked with Makris at the district office for three years. "That was the heyday of American manufacturing, and he saw the decline."

In 1971, Makris was appointed an international representative in the Third District by then-International President Charles H. Pillard. He stayed in that position for 26 years until his retirement in 1997.

"We didn't have a lot of legal help when they cut their teeth. Those guys at the big manufacturing locals handled everything," Siegel said. "A lot of lawyers from management would come in not knowing what they were up against. I'll tell you what, they were always ready the second meeting if they were unprepared the first. Tony always used to say it was good to be underestimated."

Western Electric was founded in 1896 and, from 1915 on, it was the only manufacturer of telephones and switchboard gear for AT&T-owned local telephone systems. At its peak, it had more than 165,000 workers.

Third District International Representative Pasquale "Pat" Gino met Makris in the late '60s, when Gino was business manager of Laureldale, Pa., Local 1898 and president of System Council EM-3.

"Tony was a great guy, well-suited for the job and very prominent in getting the system council to finally convince Western Electric to sit down and do national bargaining," Gino said.

Starting in the '80s, Western Electric underwent a series of transformations. It was renamed AT&T Technologies as the company responded to the anti-trust breakup of the "Ma Bell" system and began sending manufacturing work overseas.

Only 4,000 workers were left when AT&T announced the closure of the Kearney plant in 1983 after the double hammer blows of the AT&T breakup and the deep recession that marred President Ronald Reagan's first term.

By 1986, the company had moved all home phone production overseas.

"It was devastating," Gino said about the plant closures that rippled across the country.

In those years, much of the work that Makris did was servicing the four Western Electric locals in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, enforcing the national agreement on plant closures and negotiating rules on transfers, pensions and other agreements.

"The council had negotiated a plant closure agreement which was very, how can I say, which was very rich in benefits, but it was just a cushion," Gino said.

In 1996, a year before Makris retired, the company was again renamed, this time as Lucent Technologies, and spun off from AT&T. Factories continued to close. By the time it merged with French Telecom giant Alcatel in 2006, it employed only about 30,500 people and continues to shrink even further since Lucent-Alcatel was absorbed by Finnish telecom giant Nokia.

"We went all the way down to zero," Gino said. "It was like losing a member of the family."

In retirement Makris continued to serve members as the administrator of the IBEW/Lucent Retirees association. He was a member of Fullerton American Legion Post 367 and Disabled American Veterans.

Makris is survived by his wife, Patricia, and children Michael, Owen, Brett, Dexter, Stella, Jim and Nikki. The couple have 11 grandchildren. His first wife, Harriet, died in 1993.

On behalf of the IBEW's members and staff, the officers offer our deepest sympathies to Brother Makris' family.


Anthony "Tony" Makris

David J. Yockel

The officers regret to report the death of International Representative David J. Yockel on Aug. 24. He was 54.

Brother Yockel joined the IBEW as a research analyst in 1989 after working in the office of then-Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York. In 2010, he was appointed an international representative in the Research Department and became a member of his hometown local, Rochester, N.Y., Local 86.

"Dave became indispensable to the IBEW," said International President Lonnie R. Stephenson. "You'd never know it by the way he acted, but he was a crucial part in some of the major initiatives of the IBEW in the last 10 years. This is a tragic loss for the Brotherhood."

Yockel was a government major at Hamilton College, said Jon Newman, an attorney in the IBEW's general counsel office, Sherman Dunn. Newman and Yockel played on the Hamilton College football team together and were friends from the moment Newman arrived on campus.

"Dave is from upstate New York. He grew up with working people, he was a working man and it seemed natural to him to work in the labor movement," Newman said.

Brother Yockel was driven by his lifelong and deep Catholic faith, Newman said, as well as by the memory of his mother, who died when Yockel was a young man. While in college, he went to Sweden to study the country's labor relations model. When he graduated in 1987, he went to work for his hometown member of Congress, longtime Rep. Louise Slaughter, who recommended Brother Yockel look into unions.

Research Department Director Jim Voye said Yockel's most consequential achievement for the future of the IBEW was finding a solution to one of the union's most vexing problems.

In contract negotiations, NECA and local unions could rarely agree on how much of the work in their jurisdiction they were actually doing. In the mid-2000s, Yockel was given the job of finding a single way of measuring market share in the U.S. that the IBEW and NECA would agree to.

Voye said Yockel had a mix of temperament, expertise and experience that made him almost uniquely credible.

"Not many people have the ability to understand what both sides are looking for, then to know where to look in the mountain of data to find it. The people who are able to do that rarely understand how to come back out of the numbers with a story to tell. Even fewer of them know the construction business," Voye said. "And then he does all this nerdy stuff, but you want to have a beer with him."

For Assistant to the President for Membership Development Ricky Oakland, it is hard to overstate the importance of coming to agreement on a consistent way of measuring success. Nearly every slide he presented at the Membership Development Conference this year in some way referenced market share and the data collected and explained by Brother Yockel's work.

"There are people who may not like what it says, but no one can argue that it isn't accurate. Now, if a local doesn't like what the numbers reveal, get out there and do something, but no more arguing," Oakland said. "These numbers drive everything: it drives if a local is performing well or not, what kind of contract we can secure, and what we ultimately need to do to drive the IBEW forward."

And it wasn't just that he could dig up numbers, Oakland said.

"He was an expert at showing us where we were and where we need to go. He knew this union as well as anyone in it, and he always made it interesting. It was beautiful. He just blew me away," he said.

Yockel was at the heart of several other crucial initiatives from the international officers, including the Family Medical Care Plan and the prescription drug plan.

"He was decent and honest; a throwback; the kind of guy you wanted to be in charge of the numbers because you knew he would tell you the truth," Voye said. "He never wanted the spotlight and you never worried he had some ulterior motive."

In recognition of his importance to the IBEW, then-International President Edwin D. Hill appointed Brother Yockel an international representative in 2010, an honor rarely given to a staff member who didn't come up through the union. He joined Local 86 in his hometown, and it was, Newman said, one of the proudest days of his life.

"It was a huge deal in his life. He was so proud to be a member of his hometown local," he said. "The bottom line, no exaggeration, is that he loved working for the IBEW and he loved the IBEW; what it stood for; the people; what his work meant to the members. He loved how strong it is, how large it is, and that it keeps on growing."

Brother Yockel is survived by his wife, Anne, and daughters Elizabeth, Mary Rose and Courtney, the three of whom he talked about with pride almost daily to co-workers. He is also survived by his father, two sisters, in-laws and many nieces and nephews.

On behalf of the IBEW's members and staff, the officers offer our deepest sympathies to Brother Yockel's family, colleagues and many friends.


David J. Yockel