Jim Larkin: An Irish Legend

Jim Larkin was an activist and Irish labor organizer. He founded the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union. Jim was born in 1876 in Liverpool, England. He is known for his charisma and pursuit to establish the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union. Read more: James Larkin – Wikipedia

This became one of the biggest unions then. He rested in 1947 having lived a fulfilled life as an activist. Jim Larkin grew up in slum conditions with little education though he pushed his way forward to succeed in life.

Jim worked as a foreman in the docks of Liverpool in his youthful days to win bread for his family and sustain his life. As a dedicated socialist, Jim was convinced that the workers were never treated fairly. He joined National Union of Dock Labourers where he became a regular trade union organizer in the year 1905. Following that, Jim organized for strikes that captured the attention of the union and as a result, he was transferred to Dublin.

This is where he founded the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union in 1907. The primary aim of this union was to bring closer all the Irish industrial workers both skilled and unskilled to form a single organization.

Jim did not end his pursuits there but continued to found the Irish Labour Party that was labelled for a number of strikes. One of the most recalled is the 1913 Dublin Lockout that gathered more than 100,000 workers to strike. It went up to around eight months and succeeded in winning the rights for fair employment terms and opportunities.

Jim Larkin had always been passionate about fighting for the rights of workers to the extent of traveling to the United States to seek support for strikes. In 1920, Jim faced some conviction of communism and criminal anarchy and he was pardoned for an approximate of three years. After that, he was deported to his country in Ireland.

While at Ireland, his thirst for fighting for rights of workers was never quenched and he continued. He helped in mobilizing the Workers’ Union of Ireland and was able to secure recognition in 1924 from the Communist International. He established the organization in 1924 and became a full member of Irish Labour Party in 1945.

Learn more about Jim Larkin:

http://www.rte.ie/centuryireland/index.php/articles/jim-larkin-released-from-prison