James Larkin was born on 21st Jan. 1876, in Liverpool, England. He spent his earlier years in the Liverpool slums and received little formal education. To increase his family’s income, he undertook several manual jobs, and later got a job as a foreman at the Liverpool docks. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://ireland-calling.com/james-larkin/
As a committed socialist, James Larkin joined the National Union Dock Laborers (NUDL). In 1905, he became the trade union’s organizer. In the union, the members did not agree with his strike action approaches, and they transferred him to Dublin in 1907.
In Dublin, Larkin started the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union (ITGWU). The union’s goal involved the combination of all the Irish Industrial employees into a single organization. He drew the union’s political program in December 1908. Read more: James Larkin | Wikipedia and The Definite Biography of Big Jim Larkin – Irish Examiner
The outline included employment for all the unemployed, employees to legally work for eight hours a day and provision of pension for all employees at 60 years of age. Adult suffrage, compulsory courts arbitration, and nationalization of all the methods of transport, also got included in the political program.
In 1912, James Larkin started the Irish Labor Party and led various strikes. The most significant of these strikes involved the 1913 Dublin Lockout. Over 100,000 employees took part in the strike for over seven months where they won the right to fair employment. He also staged large anti-war demonstrations in Dublin at the start of World War I.
James Larkin traveled to the United States in 1914 for a lecture tour, and to generate funds for fighting the British. While in America, he joined the Industrial Workers of the World and the Socialist Party of America. Larkin was sentenced for criminal anarchy and communism in 1920, then acquitted after three years and deported to Ireland.
Back in Ireland, he coordinated the Workers Union of Ireland. In 1924, he got recognized by the Communist International for organizing this union. He later joined the Labor Party in 1945. Hereafter, he continued to work for the workers’ benefits until his demise on 30th January 1947.