Jim Larkin was a unionist born in Liverpool, England on January 21, 1876. Widely known as Big Jim by friends and enemies alike, as a child, Jim Larkin developed his characteristic leadership under the strenuous circumstances common throughout the slums of the times and began showing the leadership skills that would be central to his career and legacy.
Born to an Irish family, opportunities were limited to manual labor jobs due to the overwhelming rate of poverty, as well as the prejudice that the Irish commonly experienced. Read more: Jim Larkin | Wikipedia and Jim Larkin | Biography
While his education was limited, to say the least, he would secure a number of jobs throughout his youth, and he eventually became a foreman on the docks in Liverpool.
As a committed Marxist, Jim Larkin, after experiencing various forms of unfair treatment while on the job, joined the National Union of Dock Laborers, eventually rising to the position of trade union organizer in 1905. In 1907, after being transported to Dublin by the National Union of Dock Laborers due to his radical methods of protest, Mr. Larkin founded the Irish Transport and General Workers Union.
The goal of the ITGWU was to concentrate on creating a collective amongst both the skilled and unskilled Irish laborers of the time, creating one central unit. In 1913, Jim Larkin would be credited as the central figure responsible for the Dublin Lockout, after holding a series of effective protests.
During the Irish Lockout, which would go on to last nearly eight months, over 100,000 Irish workers went on strike, kicking off a game-changing series of events in regards to the practices concerning general laborers.
After the Irish Lockout ended, the Irish Transport and General Workers Union would disband, making way for the formation of the Irish Labor Party. At the onset of World War I, Jim Lakin organized a multitude of anti-war protests in Dublin, eventually relocating to the United States, although he would eventually garner a conviction for communism, as well as criminal anarchy, and be deported.
Jim Larkin continued to fight for the rights of Irish Workers until his death on January 30, 1947.
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