James Larkin role in organizing Irish workers

James Larkin born in the year 1876, his parents were immigrants from County Armagh. His family couldn’t even afford food, so Larkin had to attend school in the morning and go to work during the afternoons.

Larkin’s father died when he was just fourteen, and he was recruited into his late father’s working place. After his dismissal two years later, James Larkin secured a job at the railway as the foreman in the year 1903.

At his youthful age, James Larkin had developed a rare attraction towards socialism, and as a result, he joined Independent Labour Party. He later lost his job as the foreman after leading a strike that affected Liverpool docks.

As a result of the strike, the union National Union of Dock Labourers (NUDL) was pleased with his leadership skills during the strike, and they offered him a temporary position as the union’s organizer but later gained it permanently in the year 1905.

While at the NUDL, James Larkin was involved in a disagreement that went against the interest of NUDL and as a consequence, he was transferred to Dublin.

James Larkin after the exit from NUDL founded another group known as Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union (ITGWU) towards the end of the year 1908. With the group, his main aim was to bring all the Irish workers, both skilled and unskilled into one union and use it to demand betterment of their welfare.

James Larkin helped lay out the political schedule for ITGWU.

In 1911, James Larkin launched a newspaper called The Irish Worker and People’s Advocate this was a move to suppress the dominance of media owned by the perceived capitalist. Intellectuals also contributed to most columns of the newspaper.

James Larkin in collaboration with James Connolly founded the Irish Labour Party in the year 1912 and helped workers organize major strikes. His breakthrough came in 1913 when he led a major strike duped Dublin Lockout where more than 100,000 laborers went on strike for over seven months. their grievances were later heard.

According to Wikipedia, James Larkin never used violence as a means of protesting. Instead, he employed boycott of goods and sympathetic strikes.

Though the Irish press hated him, James Larkin has admirers including famous public figures such as Constance Markievicz and Patrick Pearse among others.

In 1914, James Larkin left for America where he joined Socialist Party of America as well Industrial Workers of the World.

In 1920, Larkin was judged with anarchy and support for communism, but he was pardoned three years later. And in 1924, he founded Workers’ Union of Ireland (WUI) and joined Irish Labour Party in the year 1945.

James Larkin continued advocating for workers until his death in 1947.

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