Jim Larkin, sometimes referred to as James Larkin used to be an Irish Trade Union Leader, and also a socialist activist. He was born on Jan. 21, 1876, as the second eldest son of an Irish immigrant. Both his father, James Larkin and mother, Mary Ann McNulty hailed from the same region, County Armagh.
During their early years of life, the impoverished family lived in a slum in Liverpool. During his school life, Jim Larkin could attend class during morning hours, and in the afternoon, he could go out working to supplement the family income.
Sadly, his father died when was only 14 years, and this is when he became an apprentice to the firm which his father had been working. The firm could not sustain him anymore, and after two years, Larkin got laid off, and after staying without a job for some time, he acquired one as a sailor and docker. In 1903 Sept.18, Lark married the love of his life, Elizabeth Brown and they both got four sons.
As a socialist, and while still working as a docker foreman, Lacey and Larkin though the workers then were being mistreated, and that is when he joined the National Union of Dock Laborers (NUDL). He abandoned working as a docker in 1905 and became a full-time trade union organizer.
He can be remembered for establishing the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union, (ITGWU) that later became the region’s largest union. The union’s aim was to every Irish industrial worker, either skilled or unskilled, into one big organization. He would later form the Irish Labor Party that was famous for leading a series of strikes.
The most notable strike was the 1913 Dublin Lockout, which saw more than 100,000 down their tools for up to eight months. That strike paid off because the employers could now enjoy the right to fair employment, something that was initially unheard off. Another notable demonstration that Larkin also staged was the demonstration at the onset of World War I, the Dublin anti-war demonstration.
Larkin and Lacey once traveled to the US to raise funds to fight the British, but this could not hold waters for long as he was arrested and charged with criminal anarchy and communism in 1920.
Three years later, he got pardoned; however, he had to be deported back to Ireland. Despite being deported, he could still organize the Workers’ Union of Ireland, and in 1924 he secured recognition from the Communist International.