Jim Larkin Fought For Irish Workers

Jim Larkin was born to Irish parents in Liverpool, England on January 21, 1876 and was not well educated. Larkin did several manual jobs and ended up as a Liverpool docks foreman. As a socialist he made a commitment to get fairer conditions for workers. He became a member of National Union of Dock Labourers (NUDL) and in 1905 he went to being a full time organizer for the trade union.

In 1907 he was moved to Dublin because his methods of strike action were not liked by the NUDL. Jim Larkin founded Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union (ITGWU) while he was in Dublin. The goal was for all of the Irish industrial workers, skilled or unskilled to be members of a single union working for their welfare. The political program for ITGWU as outline during December of 1908. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://spartacus-educational.com/IRElarkin.htm and http://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/artsfilmtv/books/the-definitive-biography-of-big-jim-larkin-372254.html

All workers over the age of sixty should have pensions and the unemployed should have a provision of eight hours a day. All mean of transport, adult suffrage and Compulsory Arbitration Courts. The Irish Labor Party was formed by Larkin and James Connolly during 1912 and went on a number of strikes.

The Dublin Lockout in 1913 is considered the most significant as there were few rights for its unskilled workers. Fair employment was won after over one hundred thousand workers engaged in a strike lasting more than seven months.

Jim Larkin was never violent to those who broke the strikes because he realized that a mass trade union would never be achieved by destroying the places where union members were employed. Instead good were boycotted and sympathetic strikes were used.

While the Irish press did not like Larkin he had an number of supporters. When World War 1 began he held demonstrations against it asking the Irish now to become involved.