Biography of James Larkin
James Larkin, born 1876 in England, was raised in slums and he had Irish parents. Larkin was from a poor background, and this caused him to miss proper formal education. He had to provide his support to the family hence he spent most of his youth years doing a wide range of jobs. Finally he became a foreman and worked at the docks in Liverpool.
Over the years he became a dedicated revolutionist. James saw how employers maltreated their workers, and he felt that this was unfair. He then became among those who believed in the power of the National Union of Dock Laborers (NUDL). James, therefore, changed his career to trade unionism after becoming a member of NUDL.
He was transferred by the union to Dublin due to his strike methods which were displeasing. In the year 1907, James Larkin started his union known as the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union (ITGWU). It became the most prominent union in the region.
The main aim of ITGWU was to bring unity among Irish employees. ITGWU united workers who were skilled and also the unskilled. James Larkin later formed a party known as the Irish Labour Party which mainly led workers’ strikes. The most outstanding strike of the party was in the year 1913, when a lot of workers, well over 90,000 went on strike for eight months. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/big-jim-larkin-hero-and-wrecker/ and http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/easterrising/profiles/po08.shtml
The strike benefited the workers because they gained the right to fair employment. James Larkin was known internationally as the labor champion due to his continuous successes in campaigning for laborers.
The successes not only brought positive impacts but also adverse effects on James Larkin’s life. The greatest of them was insecurity, and this prompted vices such as jealousy. James was always watchful that nobody took the prominence he had garnered. This made him very difficult to work with. James Larkin’s line of work also affected his health because he had to strain and work for long hours due to his tight schedule.
During the the First World War, Larkin was involved in anti-war demonstrations. In 1914, James Larkin went to the US to raise funds to fight the British, and he was later sent back to Ireland. He continued representing the workers until his death in 1947.