Jim Larkin was a renowned labor activist who dedicated his relentless effort to fighting for employment rights of industrial workers. He was born in Liverpool, England, in 1874. Although he was born and raised in a poor background, this did not deter him from striving for excellence and protecting the rights and interests of others.
Since he had no formal education, he commenced his career by seeking manual jobs in order to meet the family needs. Through hard work and dedication, Jim Larkin became a Foreman at Liverpool docks.
As a dedicated social worker, Jim upheld the belief that industrial laborers needed to be treated with dignity. As a result, he chose to shift ships and join the National Union of Dock Laborers. In 1905, Jim larking assumed the role of a full-time coordinator for the trade union.
Jim Larkin was transferred to Dublin in 1907 since National Union of Dock Laborers (NUDL) was not happy with the methods Jim employed during industrial strikes.
While in Dublin, Larkin formed an industrial workers union, Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union (ITGWU). The purpose of this union was to bring all skilled and unskilled Irish industrial workers together to address issues concerning their welfare.
Additionally, Jim formed the Irish Labor Party that led several strikes. One of the strikes that made a significant impact was Dublin Lockout in 1913 where more than 100,000 industrial workers stopped working and went on strike for about eight months.
The strike paid off well and the industrial workers won the right to fair treatment and employment. In all the strikes that Jim led, he strongly discouraged violence and upheld the belief that a fair day’s work should be followed by a fair day’s pay.
In 1914, Larkin went to the United States where he began a new freelancing career on public speaking. While in America, Jim Larkin joined the Industrial Worker of the World (IWW) and the Socialist Party of America. Read more: Jim Larkin | Wikipedia
During this period, Easter Rising took place in Ireland and James Connolly, Jim’s friend, died as a result. For this reason, Jim started the James Connolly Socialist Club where the left-wing activities were handled.
In 1920, Larkin was sentenced due to criminal anarchy and was released after three years before being sent back to Ireland.
In 1924, Jim Larkin organized the Worker’s Union of Ireland, and as a result, he was recognized by Communist International. Jim died on 30th January 1947 in Dublin, Ireland.