The history of unionization would be incomplete without the story of Jim Larkin. Jim Larkin was instrumental in the effort to unionize the Irish workers located in Liverpool, England. Growing up, he witnessed many of the Irish workers were unskilled or unrepresented.
When he entered into a position where he would have more power to help these individuals. From a very early age, he was committed to socialist ideals and believed that setting a good example was important. He lived a very frugal lifestyle with his wife, Elizabeth, and his four sons.
Early into his career, he was given the title of foreman over a very committed dock working for crew. This crew inspired him to join a national dock workers Union, of which he became a very powerful member. Eventually, he was transferred when higher-ups in his organization realized how militant he was about his beliefs. Read more: James Larkin | Biography and James Larkin – Wikipedia
They found that it would be more beneficial to move him to a different organization chapter, rather than risk his presence at his current location. In Dublin, Jim continued to campaign for Irish workers’ rights.
While there he also became interested in helping those unskilled workers that he became familiar with in Liverpool. He quickly helped found the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union. This organization became his life, opening him up to many contacts and over 15,000 new members.
Jim Larkin became known for quite a few incidences throughout his career, but one of his most notable is his pivotal role in the Dublin Lockout and his arrest in the United States. His arrest in the United States was related to his protesting of World War I. Even though he was eventually released, he never gave up his strong socialist and Marxist views.
He continued to be very invested in those portions of his life. With the Dublin lockout, he was instrumental in mobilizing over 100,000 different workers in order to secure their employment rates. This strike went on for more than seven months with workers fighting for their cause. Jim Larkin never gave in and was able to eventually negotiate for them.
The life of Jim Larkin is definitely varied. He spent much of it fighting for the things that were important to him, never steering away from something because it might be more difficult.
He has set an example for individuals who seek to carve out their own place in history. His history will always be remembered.