HISTORICAL FIGURE; JIM LARKIN

HISTORICAL FIGURE; JIM LARKIN

It is said that all men have diamonds and excellent potential. Jim Larkin is a man, and he is, therefore, an outlier especially from his renown endeavors as a trade unionist. Larkin is popular for founding the Irish Transport and General Workers Union and the Irish Labour Party.

In his youthful days, James Larkin had to take up different jobs in Liverpool to meet most of his needs. He always thought that workers were treated unfairly. This made him take part in strikes continually and was hence sent to Dublin.

While there, James Larkin formed the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union (ITGWU). The objective of this union was to fight for the Irish workers, who were often neglected. It was a universal union that didn’t consider the prowess of the workers.

James Larkin organized militant strikes and demonstrations claiming the fair treatment of workers. His motivation was due to the constant negligence of activists by the British Labour Movement. In his plight, Jim Larkin reconnected ITGWU with the Irish-Ireland movement and thus put an effort in making republicanism a force in the British Labour Movement.

Jim Larkin’s major aim was industrial unionism. He had a massive undying interest in the belief that the factories, businesses, and all other working premises should be owned and managed by the workers employed in them.

As it is always said, every man has a breaking point. There came a time in 1911 when Irish Transport and General Workers Union was anti-climactic. This made Jim feel insecure and so pressured. It became very difficult to work with him as he got petty and jealous at the slightest provocation.

After so short a time there broke out great labor unrest in Britain that brought about a haul of conflict within ITGWU. Jim, with his great personality and popularity, was able to manage it and he hence got his union members rising from 5,000 to approximately 15,000. All was well with the union until the Dublin Lockout. Read more: Jim Larkin | Biography and James Larkin | Ireland Calling

Jim Larkin spearheaded this strike. Ultimately the workers were able to win the right to fair employment after putting down their tools for months.

Jim later in 1914 traveled to the USA to raise funds for fighting the British after the emergence of World War 1. He became a freelancer and socialist speaker. He was however not making much out of it as he was a poor strategic planner.

The defeat of the union in the lockout had an immense effect on him that he could not handle his responsibility as the secretary of the Irish Labour Party. He was charged with criminal anarchy and communism while in the USA. He was pardoned after three years and later deponed to Ireland.

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