Jim Larkin; The Industrial Workers’ Hero

Jim Larkin was born on 27th January 1876 in Liverpool, England. He was raised in the slums of Liverpool and only acquired little formal education. To make ends meet, Jim worked engaged in numerous manual jobs, and his commitment eventually got him an admirable job during the construction of the Liverpool docks.

Jim Larkin was a socialist and believed that workers deserved to be treated fairly. For this reason, he committed himself to fighting for workers’ rights and joined National Union of Dock Laborers (NUDL). He eventually became a full-time organizer for the trade union in 1905. Learn more about Jim Larkin:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/easterrising/profiles/po08.shtml

In 1907, National union of Docks Labourers was not impressed by Jim Larkin’s strike action methods, and they, therefore, transferred him to Dublin. While in Dublin, Jim felt that all industrial Irish worker, skilled and unskilled, needed a workers’ union that would make sure that their welfare is well taken care of. It’s due to this drive to bring workers together that inspired him to form Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union (ITGWU).

Later on, Jim Larkin formed Irish Labour Party, which resulted in a good number of workers’ strike. The Dublin walkout was one of the significant labor strikes that made 100,000 workers not to report to work for almost eight months.

The strike bore fruits, and the workers earned fair employment rights. During the World War I, Jim Larkin led a large demonstration in Dublin urging Irishmen not to be involved in the war.

Jim Larkin visited the United States to raise funds to fight British and for a lecture tour in 1914. He joined Socialist Party in America and Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). The Easter Rebellion in 1916 that saw the death of Jim’s friend, James Connolly, took place while he was still in America.

Jim Larkin was convicted of communism and criminal anarchy in 1920. He was pardoned three years later and then deported back to Ireland. In Ireland, he established a workers’ union and made himself recognized by Communist International.

In 1924, Jim Larkin formed Workers’ Union of Ireland (WUI) and joined Irish Labor Party. He worked for the welfare of the industrial workers until he died on January 30, 1947.