James Larkin, The Above Average Unionist

Born on 28th January 1986, in Liverpool, England, James Larkin was an Irish activist who fought for the rights of union workers. He was born of poor parents in a slum and had a minimal formal education.

James started out his career by doing different jobs in a bid to make ends meet. He worked as a foreman at the docks of Liverpool. It was here that James felt the unfair treatment of workers and being a staunch socialist, National Union of Dock Labourers (NUDL) was founded.

In 1905, he actively engaged in the organization of trade unions. The strike methods employed by Larkin worried NUDL, and they opted to transfer him to Dublin in the year 1907.

Larkin had immense interest in syndicalism. It is his passion for Irish that led him to establish a union to cater for the interests of Irish workers. He organized labor movements and founded the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union. Read more: Jim Larkin | Wikipedia and James Larkin | Biography

He was very relevant in Dublin as he represented the interests of employees who felt neglected by the Britons. Jim Larking promoted ‘international labor.’ He strived to bring unity to both skilled and unskilled labor by having them in one organization.

Additionally, Larkin formed a party that led consecutive strikes that were very significant. The party was called the Irish Labor Party, and it influenced 100,000 laborers to go to strike hence paralyzing operations. This strike was the cause of the Dublin lockout of 1913.

The strike was so bad that it almost hit eight months union collapsed after the Dublin Lockout and Larkin exiled to the United States of America temporarily. He was deported from U.S.A in 1914. In Ireland, he organized the Workers’ Union of Ireland and secured recognition from Communist International in 1924.

James Larkin had one wife and four children, all boys. James Larkin passed on in Dublin, Ireland on 30th January 1947. He led a demonstration for peace in Dublin during the World War I. He will be remembered for his endless struggles to promote fair employment of workers on the global platform.

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