James Larkin was an active activist who was born on September 21, 1876, in Liverpool, England and died on January 30, 1947, in Dublin, Ireland.
James grew up in the slums of Liverpool with little formal education. To support his family, he worked more than one job in his youth days and eventually became a foreman at Liverpool docks. Mr. Larkin was a committed socialist who believed in fair treatment of workers.
James joined the National Union of Dock Laborers (NUDL) and became a trade union organizer in 1905. After years of protecting workers, he was transferred to Dublin.
He established the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union (ITGWU) with the aim of bringing together all Irish industrial workers both skilled and unskilled to interact in one organization.
He then founded Irish Labour Party on May 11, 1999 to support workers on issues such as strikes with the most significant strike they led being the 1913 Dublin Lockout which involved over 100,000 workers going on strike for about eight months.
With the strikes being expensive, Larkin stated that ITGWU headquarters would be moved to Liberty Hall to save money. However, ITGWU fell apart in 1914 after the Dublin Lockout and James moved to the United States where he wanted to begin a freelancing career because of his great public speaking ability.
During the First World War outbreak, James supported the most extensive anti-war demonstrations in Dublin. He also moved to the United States to support in raising funds to fight against war. However, Mr. Larkin was arrested in 1920 for criminal anarchy and communism but was pardoned after three years and moved to Ireland. James Larkin has been linked to many productive steps done by workers in Ireland including bringing together Workers’ Union of Ireland.
James Larkin was recognized as the most active individual from Communist International in 1924. James Larkin was always positive about having employees receive a fair treatment, a realistic pay and work under stable conditions.
He will be remembered as a legend because of his unwavering faith of helping workers and many workers benefited from his strength as their needs were considered.