James Larkin was a labor organizer. He was born in Liverpool, England in 1876 and died in 1947 in Dublin, Ireland. He grew up poor and worked a variety of jobs to help his family. Larkin took on the Liverpool docks as a foreman.
He thought workers were not treated fairly. He joined NUDL (National Union of Dock Laborers) and in 1905 he turned his attention to being a union organizer full time. Learn more about Jim Larkin: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Larkin
His strike methods were considered militant and the union became very alarming for the group. In 1907 he was transferred to Dublin, Ireland and he founded the ITGWU (Irish Transport and General Workers Union). The purpose of the group was to combine both skilled and unskilled industrial works into one organization.
Jim Larkin later formed the Irish Labor Party and was responsible for leading a series of strikes to bring about better fair employment practices. In 1913, Larkin led the Dublin Lockout where more than 100,000 workers went on strike for eight months and won the right to fair employment practices.
During World War One, Larkin traveled to the United States to raise funds to fight the British. He also led anti-war demonstrations in Dublin. In 1920, while in the United States, Larkin was convicted of communism and criminal activity.
He was eventually pardoned and was back in Ireland on a deportation order. In 1924, he organized the Workers Union of Ireland and was recognized by the International. Organization of Communism.
Most Irish labor unions seemed to be British based and Irish workers felt the unions did not serve the best interest of the Irish workers. Jim Larkin felt unions should be International and he formed the ITGWU.
The idea behind the venture was to create one union for all workers. The Great Labor Unrest occurred and the ITGWU was brought into the mix and the union grew from 5,000 to more than 15,000 members. Read more: James Larkin | Biography
The Irish Trades Union Congress was established and Larkin became more popular than ever. The charm of the group was short lived as the group became dependent on the casual workers such as the employment sector of the Dublin trams. The tramway boss was not a fan of Larkin and the influence he had on the workers and worked to purge Larkin and the group from the transportation system.
Larkin eventually tired of the union business and decided to become a worldwide public speaker.