Big Jim Larkin – Friend or Foe?

James Larkin grew up poor. While still a child, he was forced to perform hard labor jobs to help support his family. Larkin grew up fast and did not like what he saw in the work force in Ireland. This type of upbringing may have had something to do with Larkin’s eventual choice as a Socialist.

By the time James was 29, he had submerged his interests in bringing change to the labor force and gained the title of a trade union organizer. With limited education, Larkin worked hard to form the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union, two short years later. Read more: James Larkin | Biography and Jim Larkin | Wikipedia

Wishing for all employees to be treated evenly and fairly, over 100,000 unskilled workers joined Larkin’s cause under the umbrella of the Irish Labor Party. For over 7 months, employee strikes controlled the streets of Dublin. Today, the most relevant strike is known as the 1913 Dublin Lockout. Their efforts paid off and workers were granted the right to fair employment.

James Larkin made a huge impact for unskilled workers in Ireland and continued to fight for equality in Ireland. Although he was limited in his educational skills, James was not afraid to voice his opinion and to take physical action on behalf of his home country’s patrons.

Taking his beliefs to the United States, James met with severe opposition to his ‘loose cannon’ type of demeanor. However, many Americans see Larkin as a major player in standing up for unfair treatment in the workplace.

In 1923, he was deported to Europe where he was happy to continue his work under more pleasant surroundings. James continued fighting for the rights of workers until his death in 1947. His vision and ambitions to right a wrong are remembered to this day, regardless of the controversial opinion of the United States.

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