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James Larkin History

James Larkin was an Ireland Born labor organizer and activist. He was born on 21st January 1876 In Liverpool England. He was mainly known for founding the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union. The above became the region’s largest union, but it fell apart after the Dublin Lock Out. Larking then traveled to the United States, although he was later deported to his mother country.

James grew in the slums of Liverpool and garnered little formal education. From the age of 7 years, he would attend school in the morning and go home in the afternoon to help raise some income for the family. Read more: The Definite Biography of Big Jim Larkin

Jim worked many odd jobs to supplement his family income. At the age of 14, the dad passed away, and James was given his father’s former position in the organization where the father worked before his demise. James was however laid down after two years, forcing him back to his odd jobs. He later worked as a sailor and a docker. It was in that span that he married Elizabeth Brown with whom they stayed together and bore children.

Finally, James earned a position as a foreman at the Liverpool Docks. While there, he was a committed socialist and he specifically noted how workers were unfairly treated. To amend the situation, James joined National Union of Dock Labourers. In 1905, James Larkin became a full-time trade union organizer.

He was later transferred to Dublin, where he formed the Irish Transport and General Workers Union. The primary goal of the union was to bring together all the skilled and unskilled Irish industrial workers in one organization.

Later James formed the Irish Labor Party, and he led several strikes in the region. Most of the strikes were successful, and this gave him popularity among the laborers. Case in point, the 1913 Dublin Lockout had more than 100, 000 workers going on strike for over eight months. The group won success, and they were accorded the rights to fair employment at the end of the strike.

As World War 1 broke out, James staged massive antiwar demonstrations in Dublin. He also traveled to the U.S. to raise the necessary capital that was needed to fight the British. His activist activities made him convicted of communism and criminal anarchy in 1920. However, he was pardoned in 1923 and deported to Ireland. He then organized the Workers Union of Ireland, where he was recognized by Communist International in 1924.

Learn more about Jim Larkin:

Big Jim Larkin: Hero and Wrecker