The Rich History Behind James ‘Jim’ Larkin, The Irish Labor Activist Who Lived His Dream

James ‘Jim’ Larkin received little formal education. Born to Irish parents, Jim Larkin grew up in Liverpool slums. It is from such humble beginnings that Jim Larkin could become a renowned socialist who at some point in his life could be deported from the U.S. before he died a respectable man. Read more: James Larkin – Wikipedia and James Larkin | Biography

Today, people who immerse themselves in the modern history of human rights activism can tell you for sure that Jim Larkin was one persistent guy who’d rather face a bullet-pointed onto his head than forfeit his fight for nobility, good working conditions for laborers and better pay.

Because his zeal for the betterment of good working conditions for laborers throughout Europe, Jim Larkin is widely remembered for his favorite quote ‘A fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay’. Numerous human rights activists usually use this quote. They use it to champion for the rights of workers especially those who work in the informal sector. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/easterrising/profiles/po08.shtml and http://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/big-jim-larkin-hero-and-wrecker/

As a young man without good formal education, Jim Larkin was forced to do odd jobs. At one point, Jim Larkin became foreman of the Liverpool docks. It is while here that he decided to join a workers union. The name of the union was the National Union of Dock Labourers (NUDL). In 1905, he became fully committed to the fight of workers’ rights by becoming trade union organizer.

His zeal did not impress all guys even those who was fighting for. They argued that his high-velocity industrial action could hamper several sectors thus paralyzing important service delivery. He was moved to Northern Ireland and based in Dublin. While here, Jim Larkin started Irish Transport and General Workers Union (ITGWU).

Jim Larkin’s aim was that all workers in Ireland namely skilled and unskilled to be in one big union. This way, it would be easy to fight for their rights. In just a year, ITGWU could be merged and turned a political party.

The Irish Labour Party that Jim Larkin formed alongside his friend James Connolly was part of the 1913 Dublin Lockout Strike. This industrial action comprised more than 100, 000 workers who went on strike for 7 months.

After serving workers in various workers’ unions for several years, Jim Larkin died on January 30, 1947.

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