In Ireland and around the world James Larkin is remembered for the pioneering work that he did in the establishment of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union. He is regarded as one of the greatest activist and labor organizer who ever graced Ireland.
As a matter of fact, James Larkin was not born in Ireland as he was born in Liverpool, England, back on 21st January 1876. In the year 1914, Jim Larkin decided to try his luck west when he travelled to the United States. However, he would return to England later in life where he gracefully passed away on 30th June 1947.
When growing up Jim Larkin didn’t receive the formal education that the rich kids received as he was from a struggling family. This forced him to take odd jobs as a youth to supplement the small income that his family had. This might also be the reason why he became committed with fighting for the rights of the common worker.
He decided to join the National Union of Dock Laborers before agreeing to switch careers in 1905 to become a full-time trade union organizer. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/big-jim-larkin-hero-and-wrecker/
Due to his militant strike methods, the organization saw it fit to transfer him to Dublin two years later and this was the time that he decided to establish the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union.
Back then, he mentioned that his main goal was to ensure that all industrial workers were under one organization. By all workers he was referring to both the unskilled and the skilled. Read more: James Larkin | Biography and James Larkin – Wikipedia
As the leader of this organization, he is credited to have organized a number of strikes in the country with the most significant one being the 1913 Dublin Lockout. This is a strike that saw him assemble over 100,000 workers who resisted work for the next eight months.
This is a strike that bore fruits as all the workers in the country were awarded with a right to fair employment. He was also crucial in staging big anti-war demonstrations in the country during the First World War.
Other than work, James Larkin was a family man as he was the husband to Elizabeth Brown and together they managed to raise four children.