Eddie Walker was born in rural south Florida in the Baby Boom year of 1957, the year that Sputnik unwisely challenged American technological superiority and Elvis achieved cultural superiority on behalf of the United States. In high school, Eddie had an interest in politics—he was elected Student Council President in his senior year—and an affinity for music. (His rock and roll band released a single spotlighting his original songs at age 15.)
Eddie’s Song Clips:
Eddie earned a BA in Political Science from Boston University. In 1975 and 1976, he was a leader in organizing BU for Jimmy Carter’s successful presidential campaign. After graduation, Eddie switched career paths, entering the entertainment business as a singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur. While supporting his musical interests, Eddie ventured in the world of big business—mainly in banking and advertising—leaving Boston for New York City in the 1980s. He worked on Wall Street and inside the World Trade Center. Throughout his music career, he garnered rave reviews, creating high octane pop with the backing of veteran rockers whose resumes include stints with Todd Rundgren, Joe Ely, Carole King, Jonathan Richman, and Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes.
Eddie’s song, “Think A Little Louder,” was covered by New Jersey rock band Downtown Mystic, and “Ordinary Life” recently appeared on the album The Great Unknown by Americana duo Jim Patton and Sherry Brokus. (Check Jim and Sherry out on iTunes.)
In search of the simple life, he arrived in Austin over a decade ago, and life naturally got more complicated. Eddie joined the IRS, and became a NTEU member from day one.
The role of NTEU Steward was a natural for him. He has always been a leader, and he had attained the life experiences necessary to make him an exceptional President for NTEU Chapter 247. Eddie began his Presidency by mobilizing employees to resist the local Directors’ unilateral attack on Alternative Work Schedules. While a mass grievance snaked its way through the arbitration process, Eddie energized employees with his hands-on approach, spirited speaking style, and dynamic embrace of innovation and an upbeat attitude. The once sleepy little chapter became noted for its lively public relations and exploitation of informational picketing. A year and a half later, after both an arbitrator and the FLRA had ruled in favor of Chapter 247, the Austin Director was still hesitant to implement the decision. Eddie enlisted employees, Congresspersons, Agency brass, media, and picketing in the effort to reverse management’s actions. The relentless tactics succeeded. Management resistance gave way, and the Chapter’s reputation as enterprising and energetic was sealed.
Eddie has applied these strategies to attain victories on many, many issues. Having first demonstrated its strength, Chapter 247 has persistently and successfully earned the cooperation of management to extend flexible work schedules and attain leave for more workers, expand employee choice of work assignments, defend equal opportunity based on age, race, gender, and disability, and exert influence on manager assignments. At a time when federal employees and federal employee unions have been under attack—and National NTEU has given ground—Chapter 247 has thrived.
Chapter 247 has gone all out to achieve excellence in the areas of communication, legislative activity, support of Campus organizations, and recruitment. Chapter membership has soared as a result. Recently elected to his sixth term as President, Eddie has never forgotten that outreach to employees is the most important tool in building a strong union, and he wants to broaden that determination to drive growth for NTEU.
After an accidental meeting on a plane resulted in a long distance courtship, Eddie married Minnesotan Laurie Lee in October 2005. The couple is enthusiastic about Eddie’s latest effort to serve NTEU—this time as National President.
Eddie is very proud of his record of accomplishment on behalf of NTEU members. Learn about Chapter 247, Austin, Texas by clicking here.