How Jim Larkin Impacted on Irish Labor

Jim Larkin was born by Irish parents in the slums of Liverpool and was not lucky enough to get much education. With the little education he had, he could work for many places that did not require much skill in order to sustain his family.

During his working period and experience, Jim Larkin felt that laborers deserved better treatment and equal employment opportunities. He believed that laborers should get paid according the amount of work they did which was not happening. He formed the National Union of Dock Laborers (NUDL) and became a full time organizer for trade unions in 1905.

He later formed the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union (ITGW) in Dublin after being relocated by the NUDL for his striking actions. The ITGW became so popular among Irish laborers and very influential due to its objectives.

In 1912, Jim partnered with James Connolly and they led a series of strikes through the labour union they formed; the Irish Labour Party (ILP). The most recognizable strike was in Dublin Lockout in 1913. The strike had a major economic impact since over 100,000 workers carried on a strike that lasted for eight months.

He was a peaceful person whose strikes were sympathetic and based on boycotting of goods. In the First World War outbreak, Jim Larkin led demonstrations for peace in Dublin. He called for people of Dublin not to get involved in war and urged them that if they had to fight they should only fight for Ireland and not in any other war. Read more: James Larkin | Biography and Jim Larkin | Wikipedia

He went to United States in 1914 to look for money to fight the British. Due to his activities of trying to turn the Socialist Party into a Communism Party in the Bolshevik revolution, Jim was imprisoned in 1919 for ‘criminal anarchy’ in Sing Sing. He was pardoned after three years and was deported to Ireland.

After getting back to Ireland, he formed the Workers’ Union of Ireland after being expelled from ITGW. He continued being active in the labor unions until 1946 where he got injured after falling through a floor. He died while undergoing treatment in 1947 at Meath Hospital.

Jim Larkin is usually celebrated for the change he brought to the Irish people by fighting for laborers.

 

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