James Larkin: A Great Trade Unionist

James Larkin was born back in the year 1876, in the City of Liverpool in England. James Larkin is mainly known as the founder of the ITGWU union. The Union grew to become the largest and strongest union in the region by gaining a lot of popularity among its members.

However, this great union of workers fell apart due to the famous Dublin Lockout. This forced James Larkin to travel to the United States back in the year 1914.

James Larkin grew up as a normal mid class child in the slums of Liverpool and received little education while growing up. He was very determined, hardworking, and worked in different jobs as a youth to help support his low-income family.

James Larkin worked as a foreman in Liverpool docks when he was a youth. James Larkin had a common belief that workers were mostly mistreated, mishandled, downplayed, and exposed to risks at their places of work.

Therefore, James Larkin joined a different trade union named NUDL and subsequently becoming a crucial part of trade union officials back in the year 1905. However, his radical approach and his methods alarmed the NUDL which led to his transfer to in Ireland where he founded his great worker’s union.

The aim of this great union was mainly to advocate for fair treatment in the places of work. Its members were both a combination of the skilled and unskilled labor making it a powerful union. Later, James Larkin moved on and founded the Irish Labor Party which was a powerful organization that led major strikes advocating for the industrial rights of workers.

The most remembered of those strikes is the Dublin Lockout which took place in the year 1913. The Dublin Lockout saw to it that more than 100,000 workers go on strike for more than eight months advocating for their industrial rights.

During the start of the World War I, he held out enormous demonstrations which condemned the war in Dublin, Ireland. He was so determined that he also flew away and went to the United States where he wanted to come up with funds to fight against the British. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/easterrising/profiles/po08.shtml

However, James Larkin was deported back to Ireland due to his radical means and also due to his communist ideologies which were infamous in the United States. In Ireland, he put together a Union of Workers of Ireland and also attracted attention from the Communist International due to his works back in the year 1924.

James Larkin had a family of five, his wife Elizabeth Brown whom he married back in the year 1903. Together, they raised four sons. Elizabeth Brown died in the year 1945. Jim had developed an ideological attribute among his followers who embraced communism.

Jim, however, died on 30th January 1947 in Meath Hospital. Archbishop John Charles McQuaid did a requiem mass at Jim’s death bed in his legendary conversion before his death. James is remembered as one of the pioneers of great trade unionism who championed the rights of workers.