Mr. Jim Larkin – A Historical Figure

Mr. Jim Larkin was an activist and Irish labor organizer who started ITGWU (Irish Transport and General Worker’s Union). This was one of the biggest unions in England. However, the union fell apart during and after Dublin Lockout, and this forced Jim Larkin to move to the United States of America in 1914. He was born and raised up in the slums of Liverpool.

This made it difficult for him to get access to formal education. With little formal education, it was difficult for Jim Larkin to get a formal employment. Therefore, he had to do odd jobs to supplement his family income. Jim Larkin worked hard until he became a foreman at one of the Liverpool docks.

By being a committed socialist, Jim Larkin understands how workers at the Liverpool docks were mistreated. For that reason, Jim Larkin had to join NUDL (National Union of Dock Labourers), an organization, which he became its full-time organizer. Read more: The Definite Biography of Big Jim Larkin

The use of militant strike methods affected the union, and Jim Larkin had no option but to move to Dublin. It was in Dublin, where Mr. Jim Larkin founded ITGWU (Irish Transport and General Worker’s Union). The objective of the union was to bring together all the Irish industrial workers, both skilled and unskilled.

Later on, Larkin formed ILP (Irish Labour Party), a party that was responsible for significant strikes in England. Most of these strikes were witnessed during Dublin Lockout in 1913. The outcomes of the strikes were fruitful because the employees won the right to have fair employment.

In 1906, NUDL sent Jim Larkin to Scotland, a place where he managed to organize workers in Glasgow and Preston. He also campaigned against the Chines immigration, implying that it was a threat that would undercut the number of workers.

Jim’s last task with NUDL was in 1907 when he traveled to Belfast to help the union with the organization of the dock workers from the city. As a socialist, Jim Larkin is always successful with his obligations. In 1908, Jim managed to organize workers in Waterford, Cork, and Dublin.

Sometimes his involvement with workers was against the instructions of the union. This resulted in his expulsion from the union. Because he was a serious activist, Jim Larkin went ahead and founded ITGWU (Irish Transport and General Worker’s Union), which is currently known as SIPTU (Services Industrial Professional & Technical Union).

Learn more about Jim Larkin:

Big Jim Larkin: Hero and Wrecker