James Larkin, the Irish Trade Unionist

James Larkin spent his early life surrounded by the environs of a slum. He schooled and was bright in the early times. However, considering his background, he was not able to settle with studies. It’s normal to often get worried about the people we so much care about. This must have been the reason which led to his splitting of schedule to make time for work in the afternoons.

Liverpool between the late 1870s and late 1900s was a land of vast opportunities. However, the challenges that also filled their lands were innumerable. Jobs were rare to find and needed qualifications. James Larkin’s father had acquired himself a post at a firm in the region. His life had begun there, and for a long time, he held this post. After all, this is what kept the family together.

Death, however, does not know plans that people have set in place for themselves or their conditions. It just strikes without warning. James Larkin’s father met his end while the former was just 14 years of age. He was young and uneducated. Therefore finding something to maintain the family was going to be difficult for him. Read more: Jim Larkin | Biography and Jim Larkin | Wikipedia

Luckily, the leaders of the firm in which his father worked in had an understanding and decided to bring James Larkin in as a replacement. But he was not skilled at all. He was also young and arrogant. He was thus asked to seek a job elsewhere.

This not only hurt but also angered James Larkin because he believed that experience is something acquired over a period of time. Following his fate, he made a personal vow to fight for the rights of workers, irrespective of their level of experience or skills.

This drive was way over his socialist feelings. He became one among those who matched by NUDL and in time, he was able to start his own union which directly matched his dream which was to have a land of equal rights for all workers. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.rte.ie/centuryireland/index.php/articles/jim-larkin-released-from-prison and http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/easterrising/profiles/po08.shtml

Unity was most treasured to Larkin, and this was the main aim of his ITGWU. The year 1947 saw his untimely departure from the world of the living.