James Larkin: ‘Part Of The Union’

James (“Jim”) Larkin was born in Liverpool, England, on January 21, 1876. He was an Irish activist and a labor leader. Larkin is the man behind the labor organization once known as the Irish Transport & General Workers’ Union. The union eventually became the area’s biggest, strongest labor union.


Raised in England’s slums, Larkin did not really have a solid formal education. He held down several jobs in order to help provide for his family. Eventually, he was hired to work as a foreman on the Liverpool docks. While there he became interested in socialism.

He actively dated as well. When met and soon proposed to Elizabeth Brown. They got married sometime in 1903. Time passed and they eventually had a total of four sons.

Larkin signed on with the organization known as the NUDL. Two years after he married (1905), he was made an official trade union organizer. His nigh legendary militant ways of going on strike eventually became a regular concern of the union.


Larkin was thus sent to Dublin, Ireland a mere two years later. Once there he launched the ITGWU. James Larkin’s goal was to unite every single skilled and unskilled industrial worker there. Read more: Jim Larkin | Biography and Jim Larkin | Wikipedia


Next, Larkin founded the Irish Labour Party. He supervised numerous strikes. The most famous of those strikes was the Dublin Lockout of 1913. He led over 100,000 workers on a massive strike that went on for approximately eight months before winning fair employment for the men. Following this victorious lockout, the ITGWU would soon disband.

After World War I began, he started a large anti-war protest. In 1914 he went to America and solicited monetary donations to help finance his conflict with the Brits. Six years later he was arrested. A jury found him guilty of communism and of criminal anarchy.

He was pardoned in 1923. The authorities deported him back to Ireland. He created the WUI the next year. James Larkin was officially acknowledged by Communist International and died on January 30, in 1947.