James Larkin was an accomplished Irish trade unionist. Larkin, a labor activist, and organizer founded General Workers’ and the Irish Transport Union. James was born in 1876 in England and later moved to America in 1914. Larking grew up in a poor neighborhood in Liverpool where he acquired little education.
Since he came from a low-income family, he worked in various places to supplement what his parents earned. He eventually became a foreman where he learned a lot. James soon realized that workers at Liverpool Docks were mistreated. He became a member of the National Union of Dock Laborers to fight for the rights of workers.
Larkin established Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union to bring together all worker into one organization. The union comprised both skilled and unskilled Irish Industrial workers. James later went ahead to form the Irish Labor Party which led numerous strikes in the region. Learn more about Jim Larkin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8QqK8YbbaI and http://spartacus-educational.com/IRElarkin.htm
One of the notable strikes was the Dublin Lockout held in 1913 where approximately 100, 000 employees went on a prolonged strike for about eight months. The strike eventually led to better treatment and terms of employment.
During the onset of World War I, Mr. Larkin led anti-war demonstrations in different parts of Dublin. Since he was passionate about what he was doing, he went to the United States to raise money to fight the British Regime. Read more: Jim Larkin – Biography
However, in 1920, James was deported to Ireland because he was convicted of communism and criminal anarchy. Upon arrival in Ireland, James continued his activism where Communist International recognized him.
In the 1930s, the Catholic Church was against communism. In the 1930s, he retreated from the limelight to pay attention to strengthening the Dublin Corporation. In the 1940s, he was less involved in activism due to old age.
He enjoyed the progress people were making in the labor movement. In 1946, Larkin slipped and fell on the floor while conducting supervision of employees at Thomas Ashe Hall. He later died in 1947 while receiving treatment at Meath Hospital.