The Voice of Laborers, James Larkin

Many people nowadays reap the fruits of fair treatment in their places of work. But they do not have an idea that some people in the past fought so hard for the rights that are so much enjoyed now.

James Larkin, however, is one of the people who did this but will never go unmentioned because his contribution was one of the greatest. Learn more about James Larkin: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/easterrising/profiles/po08.shtml

Having Ireland as his parents’ original homeland, James Larkin grew up in a land that felt foreign because of the conditions that surrounded his birth. He knew no nobility because of the slums that made his home. He became humble and hardworking because of this and even attended school in Liverpool.

James Larkin was the son of one of the luckiest and proudest mothers, Mary Ann McNulty. He also had his father’s name, one of the few people who really loved him and cared about him. His siblings made the rest of his family, his elder brother included.

James Larkin was then called Big Jim by his friends who included James Connolly. James Connolly not only stuck in Jim’s life for a very long time but also came to be one of his best partners in the later years.

Big Jim went through hard times, and all began with the death of his father. He was not tied down, and neither was he discouraged. He went on to work more than he did before, and his efforts bore fruit because for two years he was able to provide for his mother and siblings. Read more: James Larkin | Ireland Calling and Jim Larkin | Wikipedia

He was moved by necessity from the firm that his senior had initially worked in after he was released. He then sought to find some meager positions at the docks, provided he was paid. His tolerance was rewarded by the title of a foreman. He enjoyed this job, but due to the meager wages, he involved himself in a strike.

He lost his post but got a better one as an organizer for the renowned NUDL. Years later he became the head of ITGWU and its proud founding father. He died an accomplished man, in Ireland after being deported from the United States of America.

Jim Larkin’s Mark on History

James Larkin, also known as Jim Larking, was an England native who is well known as the founder of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union as well as being an activist and labor organizer. He was married to Elizabeth Brown and the two had four sons.

Larkin was born in Liverpool, England on January 21, 1876 to a poor family. The early years of his life were spent in the slums of Liverpool.

Instead of earning a formal education Larkin learned what he could when he could. When he became old enough, though still young by today’s standards, he began working a handful of odd jobs to supplement his family’s low income.

They were messy, hard and didn’t pay well. James Larkin usually didn’t stick around these jobs for long. However, after some time, he was able to work his way up and become a Liverpool dock foreman. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/big-jim-larkin-hero-and-wrecker/

From this small position of power Larkin was able gain a foothold to follow his greater passions. As a socialist who wanted laborers to be treated fairly, he found his calling at the National Union of Dock Labourers. He joined the union in 1905 and became a trade union organizer.

He knew he had to be strict and unbending in his beliefs to see the change he wanted in the world.

However, the National Union of Dock Labourers did not agree with how Larkin was handling his new position. Alarmed by Larkins methods, they transfered him to Dublin, Ireland, hoping to get him out of their hair.

While in Dublin James Larkin got to work. He still believed in that laborers were being treated unfairly, looked down upon and left to fend for themselves. Wanting to organize these workers, Larkin created the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union and the Irish Labour Party shortly after. It didn’t take long for thousands of industrial workers to flock to his cause.

Once they gained enough power these groups held frequent strikes. One of which, the 1913 Dublin Lockout, lasted almost eight months and was 100,000 thousand people strong.

Larkin and his supporters eventually won out and were able to enjoy fair employment.

Read more: James Larkin | Ireland Calling and Jim Larkin | Wikipedia