The laborers activist James Larkin

James Larkin was born in 1876 to a humble family in the slums of Liverpool, England. He was not privileged to pursue education to higher levels but instead had to jump into the working scene at a young age in order to assist his family financially.

 

Jim took on a variety of jobs at the Liverpool docks and eventually became a foreman. During his work endeavors, he witnessed how employers unfairly and treated their workers. For this reason, Jim Larkin joined the National Union of Dock Labourers in an attempt to make a meaningful difference in not only the lives of fellow workers but also in the country at large.

 

In 1905, he stopped working at the docks and became a full-time organizer for the trade union. In his tenure as an organizer, Larkin employed some very extreme strike techniques that became an issue of concern for the trade union. He was therefore stripped of his role and transferred to Dublin where he did not waste time in establishing his union called the Union for the Irish Transport and General Workers.

 

Subsequently, he came up with the Irish Labour Party that went one to organize some of the most efficient workers’ strikes in Dublin. The most monumental one was the Dublin Lockout of 1913 that incorporated more than one hundred thousand Labourers in an eight-month strike demanding for the right to fair employment. He established “The Irish Worker and People’s Advocate” newspaper that he used in his pro-labor campaigns between 1991 and 1995 when it ceased publication.

 

As the World War 1 began, James Larkin and his team took to the Dublin streets in a demonstration against war and after that went to the United States to raise funds for the fight against Britain. In 1924, he again founded the Worker’s Union of Ireland which gained the Communist International’s approval. In 1936, he was elected to the Daii seat at the Dublin Corporation. In January 1947, James Larking passed away in his sleep leaving behind a wife that he married in 1903 and two sons as well as a legacy as a hero for laborers that was lived long after his passing.

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