James Larkin, the icon behind trade union

James Larkin served as an Irish Labor Organizer and an excellent activist. James Larkin was behind the establishment of Irish Transport and General Workers` Union (ITGWU). He was born in 21/1/1876 in Liverpool, England.

Together with the family, they moved to a cottage in Barren. James Larkin grew up in poverty life, and he ended up receiving the little formal education. He worked in various jobs in his teenage stage.

However, he became a devoted trade union organizer in 1905. When he moved to Belfast in 1907, he founded the Irish Labour Party as well as the Workers` Union of Irelands. He played a role in Dublin Lockout.

At the age of 14, James Larkin was apprenticed to the enterprises his father use to work in before he died. He used to work for two years and later ventured into shipping industry. Jim worked as a dock operator and a sailor before becoming the dock foreman.

He had passion in socialism which was an aspect of his membership in Independent Labour Party. He took part in a strike on the docks which rendered him jobless although his act delighted National Union of Dock Labourers and he was appointed as an organizer.

James Larkin played a vital part in uniting the Catholic and Protestant workers and persuading Royal Irish Constabulary to as well strike at some point. In the year 1908, he organized workers in Dublin, Waterford, and Cork which yielded success.

It was after leaving NUDL in a compromising situation that led to the founding of Irish Transport and General Workers` Union (ITGWU). Presently the organization exists by the title Services Industrial Professional & Technical Union (SIPTU).

Through his excellent leadership, ITGWU became affiliated with NUDL branches in Cork, Dundalk, Dublin, Sligo, and Waterford. His move to Dublin enabled him to focus more on union activity in Ireland.

Jim Larkin established The Irish Worker and People`s Advocate newspaper to be used by laborers in sharing out their views. The paper was later transformed to Ireland Echo. In 1912 James Connolly together with James Larkin co-founded Irish Labour Party, and later he was elected to Dublin Corporation.

James Larkin once achieved success in Dublin industrial disputes which entailed recourse to strikes and boycotting of goods. James Larkin was committed to unionizing the unskilled workers besides having skilled workers on board. He led many workers to a lockout, and the solidarity of employees was witnessed.

After ITGWU had fallen apart due to the lockout, James Larkin migrated to the US in 1914. He was focusing on raising funds to finance the organization. In America, he joined Socialist Party of America as a member. He also involved himself with the Industrial Workers of the World Union. Besides that, he supported the Soviet Union. He was a devoted member of numerous trade unions.

He participated in labor organizing even at the 1940s before his death. He organized strikes not as a sabotage campaign but as a way of securing both rises in pays and allocation of shorter working hours for workers and also inhibit the shipment munitions to various Allies.

Learn more about Jim Larkin:

http://spartacus-educational.com/IRElarkin.htm
http://www.rte.ie/centuryireland/index.php/articles/jim-larkin-released-from-prison