James Larkin was born on January 21st, 1876 in Liverpool, England who established the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union which has been the area’s biggest union ever since it was established.
Larkin was a fervent Marxist who grew up in the slums of Liverpool and had little in the way of formal education. Larkin never really went to school as he had to work various menial jobs to help supplement his family’s already-meager income. After having many such jobs, Larkin finally settled on working as a foreman on the docks of Liverpool.
This experience helped shape Larkin as a dedicated Marxist and socialist as he believed workers in menial jobs like his own were treated very unfairly. Larkin grew the ranks of the worker unions for physically-laboring jobs in Ireland from about 400 employees at the start to over 20,000 by the time World War I ended. This is one of the largest marked growths in Irish history for a labor union, which Larkin proudly founded and led as he demanded that his workers are treated better and that they get rights to certain working conditions and decent pay for the work they put in.
Subsequently, Larkin joined the National Union of Dock Laborers (NUDL) as a full-time trade union organizer by 1905. Larkin wound up moving to Dublin after a transfer in 1907 where he worked to get many of the labor unions of Ireland to come together to make one bigger union with more power to demand more rights for workers. Read more: Jim Larkin | Wikipedia and Jim Larkin – Biography
Larkin also subsequently helped organize a labor strike in 1913 that saw over 100,000 laborers strike for 8 months before they reached a deal with the big companies that won them the rights to fair wages and better employment conditions. Larkin is now considered instrumental to providing laborers in Ireland with better working conditions and more fair wages and benefits even through the modern day in the 21st century.
Once World War I broke out James Larkin began leading some of the biggest anti-war demonstrations in Dublin and soon he was traveling to the US to raise funds to help Ireland fight off the British.
While in the US he was arrested for promoting Communism and then deported back to Ireland after serving 3 years in prisons in the US. Once back in Ireland, Larkin went right back to work with his cause of the Workers’ Union and in 1924 he received official recognition for his lifetime’s work by the Communist International organizations as well.
Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://spartacus-educational.com/IRElarkin.htm