James Larkin was known for his labor organization skills in the Irish transport and general workers union. He was born in Liverpool, England. He grew in the slums, and the capacity of his formal education was minimal. His family income was so low such that he had to involve himself in some youth jobs so as to sustain his family.
In this line, he began working as a foreman in the Liverpool docks. Through his daily errands, he realized that many workers were treated unfairly in their job places. He then began fighting against unfair treatment of laborers. He did so by joining the union for dock laborers. In this union, he became a full-time organizer for trade.
His skills and capacity of fighting against the unfair treatment of workers alarmed the union management. It caused him to be moved to Dublin in 1907. In this new location; he founded the Irish transport and general workers organization. His main aim was bringing together both the unskilled and skilled laborers under one union. After achieving this, he formed a party whose mission was to fight for laborers rights. Read more: Jim Larkin – Biography and The Definite Biography of Big Jim Larkin
As the leader in this party, he was always in the forefront in the time of strikes demanding for fair labor treatment. He steered the Dublin lock out where almost a million workers downed their tools for eight months. When the World War II broke out, he staged several strikes to fight against the war. During this period, he traveled to the USA where he was able to raise funds so as to fight against the Britons.
Due to his unrest and commitment to fight for a fair life, he found himself on the wrong side of the law. He was charged for anarchy and communism. However, he was then released after three years and detained in Ireland. He never tired fighting for laborers rights since he also formed a workers union in the new country.
James empathy and modesty when it came to treatment of union members were well recognized in Ireland. In spite of the many mishaps in the strikes he led, he always struggled to give strength to this union. He went to the extent of making its headquarters to be located in liberty hall.
When the Roman Catholic Church stood to fight against communism, it gave him the strength to perpetuate his roles in his greatest capacity ever! The fact that James always received funds from other countries helped him fight harder to see unfair treatment come to an end. He had been an icon in activism all his life until he passed on in January 1947.
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