Roles Played by James Larkin in Irish Labor Unions

James Larkin was born on January 21, 1876, of Irish immigrants. He served as a trade unionist, activist, socialist and an Irish republican. Larkin grew up in poverty and underwent many economic problems that made it challenging to secure formal education. Learn more about Jim Larkin:  and

He was engaged in casual labor at the docks at a young age. In the later years, he oversaw the creation of the Workers Union of Ireland, Irish Transport and General Workers Union and the Irish Labor Party.

The listed parties played a vital role in the empowerment of Irish workers. James Larkin is widely remembered for his contribution in the Dublin Lock-out. The event is regarded as being the most significant and severe labor dispute in Irish history. The disagreement also saw the disintegration of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union.

James Larkin Reign in Ireland Labor Unions

Larkin was a committed socialist who dedicated his life to transforming the lives of many workers. He believed that capitalism led to the poor treatment of workers and thus joined the National Union of Dock Laborers. Although he served as the NUDL organizer, his militancy alarmed the members which prompted his transfer to Dublin.

However, James later formed the Irish Labor Party. The party oversaw the Dublin Lockout where more than 100, 000 declined to work for eight months. In 1921, he was opposed to the World War. He equally called for the end of the Irish Civil war and the empowerment of underprivileged groups.

His militancy approaches led to his conviction in Dublin. He was found guilty of both communism and criminal anarchy but pardoned and deported to Ireland in 1923.

In 1924, he oversaw the creation of the Worker’s Union of Ireland that was closely linked to communist international. During the 1930s, the Catholic Church voiced its opposition to communism. He played a role in the creation of the Trade Union Act. Read more:  James Larkin | Wikipedia and  James Larkin | Biography

He remained an activist to the last moments. While supervising repairs on the Workers Union of Ireland offices he fell and was admitted to Meath Hospital. He succumbed to the injuries. His contributions were celebrated during the 50th anniversary of the Dublin Lockout.

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James Larkin the Activist and National Hero

Anytime the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union comes to mind, the name James Larkin automatically pops into the picture. He was an Irish activist and labor organizer that fought to ensure workers received fair payment for their job.

James Larkin’s motivation to fight for the rights of laborers came from his experience while working for various companies. The experience convinced him that the treatment employers gave their laborers was unfair, and it was necessary to push for better working conditions.

Trade Union Organizer

James Larking as a committed socialist, he joined the National Union of Dock Laborers (NUDL). At this time, he was a foreman at the Liverpool docks. After joining the union, he became a trade union organizer working full-time. James Larking was an ambitious and aggressive individual who would go to great lengths to accomplish his mission.

The NDUL did not approve of his alarming militant strike strategies and transferred him to Dublin.

The Irish Transport and General Workers Union and Irish Labor Party

In 1907, James Larkin arrived in Dublin and worked on founding the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union. The idea behind the formation of the union was to combine all the Irish laborers. James Larkin believed a combination of all skilled and unskilled industrial workers would give the union enough power to push for reforms.

For example, the Dublin Lockout of 1913 involved over 100,000 laborers who took part in a strike that lasted 8 months. In the same year, 1907, James Larkin formed the Irish Labor Party whose responsibility was to lead workers’ strikes.

The Fight against World War I

When World War I began, James Larking did his best to stop its continuation. He staged significant anti-war demonstrations hoping the world would back him and call off the war. James Larkin extended his ambitions and traveled to the United States with the aim of raising enough funds to fight the United Kingdom. The move did not go well for him as it caused his arrest and imprisonment in 1920.

Marriage, Family, and Death

In 1903, James Larkin married his lover Elizabeth Brown, and together they had four sons. After his imprisonment in 1920, James Larkin received a pardon 3 years later and returned home. He stayed with his family as he continued to run his party until his death in 1947.