The Irish Socialist, James Larkin

James Larkin was a son of Liverpool, England, but his parents originated from Ireland. His birth in 1876 did not shed light about his future successes. Growing up in a slum did not stop James Larkin from being a successful trade union organizer and socialist. Read more: James Larkin | Ireland Calling and Jim Larkin | Biography

James Larkin was raised up among his siblings and parents. Life was not easy, as their state of being did not allow them the luxuries that rich people enjoyed during the time. However, getting used to working to have something at the table from a young age hardened James Larkin.

He went to school until his 14th birthday, when his father took his last breath of life. He had to take over the responsibility of taking care of and watching over the family. He succeeded in seeking jobs as he became a docker, and by the end of 1992, he was a dock foreman.

He led a strike at the docks of Liverpool in 1995. His performance was exceptional because he was not a quitter. The National Union of Dock Laborers took in the man who had been fired because of being appointed to the strike committee of the docks. He was made an organizer for NUDL. In 1906, he went to Scotland on union duty, to lead a campaign against Chinese immigration.

In 1907, James Larkin was sent to Ireland to organize workers on behalf of the union. All the strikes he held there were successful. However, he later had a disagreement with James Sexton, the general secretary of NUDL, over leadership. James Larkin then went to Dublin and organized workers, against the directives of the union. This led to his expulsion from NUDL.

As 1908 drew to an end, James Larkin started the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union. This union brought together Irish workers of diverse experiences. 1912 then saw the formation of the Irish Labour Party, by both James Larkin and James Connolly.

This party was responsible for the famous Dublin Lockout of 1913. James Larkin never rested on fighting for what he thought was right, regarding the fair treatment of workers. But he had to lay his socialist tools to rest in 1947 when he passed on.

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