Irish Labor Union Organizer Jim Larkin

Irishman James Larkin, also known as Jim Larkin, was born in Liverpool, England in the 19th century. He became a well-known historical figure due to his radical labor union organizing and activism in favor of Irish industrial workers. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://ireland-calling.com/james-larkin/ and http://www.rte.ie/centuryireland/index.php/articles/jim-larkin-released-from-prison

In the early 1900s, he led several strikes in his fight for fair employment, later starting the Irish Transport and General Worker’s Union, or the ITGWU, which became the biggest union in his local area.

One of the most famous strikes Jim Larkin organized was known as the Dublin Lockout, which lasted for a total of 8 months and affected more than 100,000 employees. This strike was the one that won the workers the right to fair employment. After traveling to the U.S. to raise money to fight the British with during World War 1, he returned to his hometown of Dublin to continue his organizing.

Jim Larkin had very little education, but he held a number of jobs as soon as he was old enough to start earning income to help support his family.

He started out working at the docks in Liverpool, and feeling that workers were being treated unfairly there, he joined the National Union of Dock Workers and became its main organizer on a full-time basis. When his strike methods were thought to be getting a little too militant by the NUDL, he was transferred to Dublin, where he then founded the ITGWU.

He also staged anti-war demonstrations during wartime, and he was eventually convicted of anarchy and communism. After traveling to the U.S. in 1914, he was later deported back to his country. Read more: James Larkin | Biography and Jim Larkin | Wikipedia

When he got back to Ireland, he continued his labor organizing efforts, which he was recognized for by an organization called Communist International.

His goal for the unions he helped form was to combine all the Irish industrial workers, both skilled and unskilled, so that they would be one organization. With this tactic, he felt that they would get more of their demands met.

Jim Larkin died in the winter of 1947 in Dublin, Ireland, leaving behind his wife, Elizabeth Brown, and their 4 sons.

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