James Larkin may best be known for the famous phrase, a fair days work for a fair days pay. He was a life-long socialist, with a commitment to improving work conditions for all Irish workers in the Industrial Labor Industry.
James Larkin was born in poverty to Irish parents in the slums of Liverpool England in 1876. He had almost no formal education, due to his economical circumstances. He was forced into child labor, as were many children at that time.
As a young adult he found himself employed for the Liverpool docks as a laborer. Although James Larkin came from such humble beginnings, his intelligence and unwavering belief in the rights of all workers led to his changing laws and establishing basic rights for all Irish industrial workers.
In 1905 James Larkin was nominated as full-time organiser of the National Union of Dock Labourers (NUDL). He then moved to Belfast, creating the first organized unskilled labor Force. Local employers were against the new union branch and planned a lockout. Friction was then encited between the other leaders of the NUDL. Learn more about Daniel Taub: http://www.rte.ie/centuryireland/index.php/articles/jim-larkin-released-from-prison and http://spartacus-educational.com/IRElarkin.htm
They were against James Larkins Forceful, sometimes militant tactics. Without including James Larkin the leaders of the NUDL reached a settlement, consequently pushing James Larkin from his leadership position.
James Larkin then made the move to Belfast and started work on forming the Irish Transport and General Workers Union(ITGWU). What the ITGWU sought to accomplish was the legalisation of the eight hour work day, pensions for all workers over the age of 60, and the supplication of provisions for unemployed long-time workers. Read more: Jim Larkin | Biography and Jim Larkin | Wikipedia
During this time James Larkin was considered an eloquent and passionate public speaker, a physically strong and formidable leader who relentlessly worked without rest for the working class. Within three years, it is no wonder that James Larkin accomplished his mission. The ITGWU became the largest, most well-known unskilled Labor union in Ireland.
!n 1911 James Larkin established the ‘Irish Worker and People’s Advocate newspaper to spread the word for equality and justice for the laborers of Ireland. A move that proved most wise indeed. Reaching a reached a circulation of 20,000, this publication helped to promote his cause throughout Ireland and beyond.
In 1912, James Larkin and James Connelly found the Irish Labour Party. A series of strikes to better conditions for workers led to the infamous Dublin lockout of 1913. Discouraged after this defeat, James Larkin traveled to The United states in an effort to raise funds. His tireless efforts, after six months of strikes and negotiations won basic rights for more than 100,000 Irish workers.
James Larkin was known to lead anti-war demonstrations as WWI erupted. This led to his being deported to England in 1923. His legacy will never be forgotten. He continued his work towards worker equality until his death in 1947.