Jim Larkin was born on the 21st of January 1876 in Liverpool, England. He had minimal formal education having been raised in the slams by parents who were unable to cater for his formal educational needs.
Consequently, Jim Larkin had to take up menial jobs in order to supplement his family’s income. He was a hardworking young man and his efforts made him to be elevated to the position of a foreman ant the Liverpool Docks.
Jim Larkin was committed to ensuring that all workers were treated fairly. In a bid to gain a stronger platform to advocate for the right of workers, Larkin decided to join the National Union for Dock Laborers (NUDL) and in 1905 he was recognized as a full-time trade union organizer. Read more: James Larkin | Biography and James Larkin – Wikipedia
His no-nonsense leadership style in the union surprised many and as a result, was transferred to Dublin in 1907. However, his transfer to Dublin did not deter him from championing for the rights of workers. He almost immediately formed the Irish Transport and General Workers Union (ITGWU).
Larkin’s main objective of forming the union was to bring all workers in Ireland under one umbrella. He wanted both the industrial workers, skilled and the unskilled to speak with one voice. He later founded the Irish labor party.
Through the ITGWU, Jim Larkin was able to organize a series of strikes. The most notable one happened in 1913 and was famously known as the Dublin Lockout where over 100,000 workers took part in the strike. The strike lasted for close to eight months and paralyzed activities in most private and government institutions. The strike would lead to all workers being granted the right to fair employment.
During the First World War, Jim Larkin played a crucial role in trying to prevent it. He staged several huge anti-war demonstrations in Dublin. Besides, he also traveled to the US top seek for funds in order to fight the British.
Nonetheless, in 1920 he was accused of propagating communist ideas and pardon three years after that. He was then deported to Ireland where he would continue to fight for the rights of workers through his organization, ITGWU.