James Larkin: The Union Leader Who Led Workers Rights Movements

James Larkin was a prominent historical figure who played an essential role in bringing together the workers unions for the benefit of the people in society. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/easterrising/profiles/po08.shtml and http://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/big-jim-larkin-hero-and-wrecker/

He was born in Liverpool in 1876. He didn’t have much of education growing up, as he didn’t come from a family that could afford much. He started working at a very early age to be able to support his family and supplement their income.

He worked a variety of entry-level jobs and made his way around on a daily wage. Because of how much he had to work at an early age, he soon gained an understanding of the employment scene in the country.

It wasn’t long before he realized the amount of exploitation that was going on when it came to the workers and laborers in the country. There were several instances where people were being treated poorly, and being put in inhumane work conditions, all while not receiving adequate pay. Read more: Jim Larkin | Biography and James Larkin | Ireland Calling

More often than not, these workers did not have access to their basic rights and didn’t have a place where they could voice their concerns without fear of losing their livelihood.

This was when Larkin decided to join trade unions to support other people like him, and so that he could better assert his rights. The first trade union that he became a part of was the National Union of Dock Labourers. He stayed in the union as a member for a considerable amount of time before he decided to take up a more prominent role and become a full-time union organizer.

Because of how much of an impact he was having on the situation of laborers in London, he was transferred out of the city and sent to work in Dublin. This, however, didn’t stop him from working towards better rights for the laborers there.

He started the Irish Transport and General Workers Union, with a goal to bring together different kinds of workers in various sectors. Through the organization, he led several protests and movements which helped him assert the demands of these workers to give them a more secure work environment and a better means to support their families.