The Great Irish Trade Unionist, James Larkin

Leaders are not born but made. James Larkin was born poor in the year 1876. His mind would never go to a time when things would be different either for him or his family. However, his hard work spoke a lot about his hope for a better tomorrow.

Being a nationalist of Liverpool, he sought education at the right age. Roughly three years in the system was enough for him to make a decision to couple up education with work.

James Larkin reasoned out that he would not be of much support to his family if all he did was study. It would take him several years to be able to provide for them, yet he did not have several years. All he had was a few. These few even became lesser when his father passed on.

Death leaves people confused and in pain. It leaves others without hope for tomorrow, while others are left regretting chances they did not take. For James Larkin, it was very different. The death of his father was not all fun, but it also opened an avenue for him, something he would come to call a chance at his old age. Read more: Jim Larkin | Biography and Jim Larkin | Wikipedia

Had he not been first employed at the firm his father worked, he would never have known the maltreatment that workers go through. Discrimination in the workplace was a thing, especially where diversity of skills was concerned. James Larkin became a victim of this when he was fired due to being unskilled.

In an effort to see to it that other workers did not go through what he did, James Larkin started a union which was going to advocate for not only the unskilled but also the skilled workers. He called this union ITGWU, which was to stand for the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union.

It is not to be said, however, that James Larkin did this on his own because he did not. He was supported by his die-hard friend James Connolly who was not lucky at all in the Easter Rising which claimed his life in 1916.

However, James Larkin honored his memory by starting another organization and naming it after his friend. Both their memories shall always be held dear by the world history.

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