James Larkin is the labor leader and trade union organizer that brought changes to Dublin. He was a socialist, family man and one with a history of struggles and hardships. However, his dream of a better life for workers was achieved before he lay in eternal rest. Read more: Jim Larkin | Wikipedia and James Larkin | Ireland Calling
He was born and raised in England. He went to school, and like the other kids that were in his social class, he had to work on every afternoon to support his family. His spirit of helping out his mother and siblings went on even after the demise of his father.
He looked for simple and difficult jobs, all with the aim of raising something for the family. His post to the docks as a foreman was really something, and this came some years after his marriage to Elizabeth Brown. He became a full time union organizer, after a strike at the docks that won him a position at the National Union of Dock Labourers, NUDL.
James Larkin led a campaign against the Chinese immigration, which according to him, would undermine Irish workers and also reduce the job opportunities. He also led several strikes all over Ireland, following his posting by NUDL.
In 1907, he and James Sexton disagreed over the direction that NUDL was taking, and its management. He was released from the union when his aspirations went against what the union stood for. He formed his organization which he called ITGWU, the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union. ITGWU strived to unite Irish workers, irrespective of their skills or level of experience.
After five years, he joined James Connolly, and the two friends formed another organization which they called the Irish Labour Party. This party led strikes in Dublin, which had become James Larkin’s station after leaving NUDL.
Two years later, he decided to travel to the USA. This was followed by several events, the first being the Easter Rising in which James Connolly died. James Larkin was then arrested two years after the death of his friend. He was pardoned in 1922 and put on a plane back to Ireland. Back in his homeland is where he died.