The hero and activist that was Jim Larkin

Ever since Jim Larkin was a boy, he was a force to reckon with. He had the look of greatness in him even though he was young and unskilled with the workings of the world.

Even when playing Jim Larkin always was the boss of the lot deciding what they would play and the frequency of turns that every participating toddler would have. Read more: James Larkin | Biography and James Larkin | Ireland Calling

Early signs such as these are what people call talented leadership, especially when dealing with children who were his age and would be notorious not to heed the screams and shouts that were directed to them by their parents.

Growing up in the impoverished slum areas of Liverpool meant that there was little to smile about. The formal education that he received did not bring him any luck, and he decided to seek employment during his youth to help supplement the income that his parents made.

Jim Larkin worked many Odd jobs until he secured a foreman position at the docks. It was at this point that he realized how unfairly workers were being treated and joined NUDL a labor union that was formed to highlight the plight of the dock workers. Jim Larkin had found his passion and stayed on as a full-time union representative from 1905.

His aggressive striking methodology raffled some feathers at the union, and he was transferred in 1907 to Dublin. There, he founded a union that sort to represent transportation as well as general workers. Jim’s goal was to combine all skilled and unskilled industrial workers into one union.

This move prompted him to form the renowned Irish labor organization. Immediately, the party was responsible for organizing a string of strikes most notable being the Dublin Lockout. Learn more about Jim Larkin:  http://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/big-jim-larkin-hero-and-wrecker/ and http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/easterrising/profiles/po08.shtml

It was held in 1913 and saw more than a hundred thousand workers down their tools and take to the streets for almost eight months. This time they were successful and earned the right that gave them fair employment.

At the commencement of world war one, he organized quite a number of anti-war marches in Dublin. His approach to fostering change has been emulated by many since then.

Jim Larkin Still Remain a Real Legend

In the slums of Liverpool in Ireland, James Larkin was born in 21st January 1896. He never had the privilege of advancing his education and so with his limited education; he started doing various manual jobs. Read more: James Larkin | Biography and James Larkin | Ireland Calling

It was during this time while doing his casual jobs that he was made the foreman of Livestock docks. As a socialist, James Larkin was very committed and determined to provide fair conditions for the casual workers. In 1905, he joined the National Union of Dock Laborers (NUDL), and later became a full-time organizer of the trade union.

However, his strike action methods were never appreciated by National Union of Dock Laborers and hence in 1907, they moved him to Dublin. Here in Dublin, Larkin founded another movement called the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union (ITGWU).

The main objective was to make sure Irish industrial workers, both unskilled and skilled, belonged to a common workers’ union that would work for their common welfare.

In December, 1907, Jim Larkin clearly outlined the political programme of Irish Transport and General Workers. This programme stipulated the following: adult suffrage, provision of work for all unemployed, a legal eight hours’ day, and pension for all workers, skilled and unskilled upon attainment of 60 years of age.

It also recommended Compulsory Arbitration Courts, nationalization of railways, canals and all other means of transport. It generally meant the land of Ireland to remain wholly for all the people of Ireland.

In 1912, James Larkin joined hands with James Connolly to form the prominent Irish Labor Party. During this period, Larkin led a lot of strikes, with the most remarkable being the Dublin Lockout of 1913. More than 100,000 casual workers who had very few rights went on strike for more than seven months; this saw them obtain the right to fair employment, which they had never experienced for centuries.

In 1914, Larkin flew to the USA to raise funds to lead the fight against the British and also for a lecture tour. While there in the United States, he joined the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and also the Socialist Party of America.

Later in 1924, Lacey and Larkin was convicted of communism and criminal anarchy, an offense that saw him detained for three years. He was then pardoned but immediately deported to Ireland. In Ireland, he formed the Workers’ Union of Ireland (WUI) and became an Irish Labor Party’s member in 1945. He later died on January 30, 1947, while still serving the party for the benefits of Ireland’s workers.