The Irish trade unionist, Jim Larkin

Jim Larkin was a renowned socialist and trade unionist born in January 1876. Born to Irish parents in Liverpool, he grew up in slums and abject poverty. At a tender age of seven, he used to go to school in the morning hours and work later in the evening to supplement his family’s earnings. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://spartacus-educational.com/IRElarkin.htm

His father passed away at the age of 14, and he was taken in by the firm that his father worked for but left unemployed again after two years. He was forced to work as a sailor and a docker for his upkeep. Read more: James Larkin | Biography and James Larkin – Wikipedia

He became a dock foreman in the year 1903 and married his wife Elizabeth Brown in the same year. Jim Larkin’s interest in socialism grew from the year 1893, and he joined the Independent Labour Party as a member.

He was later elected to the committee that organized the strike at the Liverpool docks. As a result, he lost his job as a dock foreman and was rendered jobless again. However, this was only for a short while, and he was appointed the organizer of the National Union of Dock Labourers.

In 1906, he led a vigorous campaign opposing the Chinese immigration to Scotland.

Jim Larkin was tasked to organize the dock workers for NUDL in January 1907. He accomplished his primary assignment of uniting the employers, and he later canceled the strike in June of the same year.

He also led a successful mission of bringing together the Protestant and Catholic workers. On leaving NUDL in the year 1908, he established the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union.

The group is still in existence as the Services Industrial Professional and Technical Union. Jim Larkin moved ITGWU’s headquarters to Dublin, Ireland in the year 1909.

In 1911, he established “The Irish Worker and People’s Advocate,” a local newspaper that covered the employees’ rights and aired their views.

The paper also held an aggressive campaign against unjust employers. Also, the newspaper contained pieces written by socialists and trade unionists intellectuals. The paper later changed its name to the new Ireland Echo to cover all the employees’ in Ireland.

Jim Larkin is renowned for his famous slogan, ” A fair day’s work for a fair day’s work.” He accomplished some notable achievements in the year 1913. His involvement in the Sligo Dock Strike was a major success, and it entailed boycotting of goods and recourse to strikes which were sympathetic.

He later passed on in the year 1947 after leading successful trade unions.

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