Born in Liverpool, England in 1876
Born in Liverpool, England in 1876 James Larkin was an Irish labor organizer who created a union for Irish transport workers. Before the creation of this union, there was very little union representation among Irish workers with less than 10% being unionized.
There was also no Irish labor union which would represent the needs of Irish workers – most of the unions in Ireland were based in England.
Established Union Headquarters
As the creator of the union, he made several different contributions to the labor climate. He created a union headquarters which was aimed at being a place where union members could socialize and new cultural initiatives could form.
Labor Union Became Largest In Ireland
This was the biggest union in Ireland because it was also a general union. Traveling to the USA in 1914, he was a socialist whom had little formal education. He was a foreman at the Liverpool docks, but he believed that workers should have more rights. Learn more about Daniel Taub: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/easterrising/profiles/po08.shtml
This led to him becoming a fervent socialist and union organizer. His aim was to create a union that would be for all workers. Even unskilled workers in Ireland could join the union. He helped to organize one of the largest strikes in 1913 where 100,000 workers in Dublin stayed home from work.
Strong Anti-War Beliefs
He also held strong anti-war beliefs at the outbreak of WWI, which was evident when he staged many large-scale demonstrations. He traveled to the United States to raise money for the Irish independence cause, but was ultimately deported back to Ireland in 1923 after facing charges of communism and anarchy. Read more: James Larkin | Biography
Upon his return to Ireland, he began organizing workers again into the Workers’ Union of Ireland. This was a very difficult time period for him, as he had very few supporters upon his return.
In 1924, James traveled to Moscow to organize the Workers Union of Ireland as a communist alternative to the union he had initially started.
Retreated From The Limelight and Remembered for 1913 Lockout
In the 1930s, James retreated from the limelight and he moved to the center politically. He was restored in the 1940s in old age as he built up a support base on the Dublin Corporation. His most famous accomplishment is the 1913 lockout, which demonstrated that it was possible for Irish unskilled workers to be unionized and that Irish labor unions could form.