The History of Trade Unionist James Larkin

James Larkin otherwise referred to as Jim Larkin was a trade unionist in England. He was born in Liverpool, England in January 1876 into an Irish family with a humble background. He grew up in the slums of Liverpool and due to lack of money and other resources he acquired only a little formal education.

He, therefore, had to do odd jobs to supplement his family income. He then rose to the ranks of a foreman during the construction of the Liverpool docks. He wanted all workers to be treated fairly as opposed to how they were treated in those days. James Larkin, therefore, became a member of the National Union of Dock Labourers (NUDL). He became an organizer of trade unions in 1905.

In 1907, James was moved to Dublin. He then formed the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union (ITWGU). ITWGU emerged to be among the largest trading unions in the region. The organization had an objective of uniting both skilled and unskilled Irish industrial and casual laborers into a single organization.

He, later on, founded the Irish Labor Strike Party that spearheaded in fighting for the works of industrial laborers and conducted numerous strikes in Dublin. The strikes were effective. For instance, in 1913, the laborers won a right to fair treatment after more than 100,000 workers took part in an eight months’ strike in Dublin. Unfortunately, ITGWU lost its course after the lockdown. Read more: Jim Larkin | Wikipedia and James Larkin | Biography

During the First World War, James Larkin preached peace and conducted peaceful demonstrations against the war in Dublin. He moved to America to raise money for his union in order to battle the British. While in America, he became a member of the Industrial Workers of the World union. He supported the Soviet Union.

He was charged with criminal anarchy as well as communism. He was exonerated three years later by government officials and deported to Ireland. He again founded the Workers’ Union of Ireland. He continued fighting for the rights of laborers up to the 1940s.

In 1903, James married Elizabeth Brown. The couple had four children all of them boys. He died in 1947 at the age of 73 years in Dublin, Ireland.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *