The Efforts of Jim Larkin in the Fight for Irish Workers

Jim Larkin is fondly remembered as a labor activist and organizer who risked his life and livelihood in the fight for equality among Irish workers.

Jim is renowned for his role in forming the Irish Transport and General Workers Union (ITGWU) which expanded exponentially to become the most vocal and active labor union in Ireland. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/big-jim-larkin-hero-and-wrecker/ and http://ireland-calling.com/james-larkin/

He served as chairman of the organization for seven years since its inception and later moved to the US to seek greener pastures. Jim was an ardent fan of Karl Marx, the world-renowned philosopher.

Jim Larkin was brought up in the poor neighborhoods of Liverpool, England. His parents were mere laborers and struggled to make ends meet. Due to the state of their family’s financial situation, Jim was unable to go to school since it was unaffordable.

Due to the circumstances of life, Jim started doing odd jobs as a casual laborer to earn a living and to help his struggling parents. After a few years of struggling between hard jobs, Jim landed a job at the Liverpool docks working as a foreman. Read more: James Larkin | Wikipedia and  James Larkin | Biography

The opportunity also allowed him to join labor activism. Through the years, he believed that employers were mistreating workers and somebody had to do something. By joining the National Union of Dock Laborers, Jim had the platform to air his grievances. He is remembered as a brave and vocal unionist.

Most people remember Jim Larkin as a founding member of the ITGWU, an organization that brought together many Irish workers in the pursuit for better pay, healthy working conditions, and protection of human rights.

He was also involved in starting the Irish Labor Party, a party that planned nationwide workers protests that demanded change in the labor laws and improvement of working conditions.

Jim Larkin is most importantly remembered for his involvement in the famous 1913 Lockout, a mass strike that lasted more than seven months and involved over 100,000 dock workers. The protest proved fruitful as the demands they were asking for were met.

Jim was against World War I, he led protests in Dublin as he believed the war would significantly hurt the economy. Jim was a fighter and his actions influenced significant changes that positively impact Irish worker to date.

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