James Larkin was an activist that was born to Irish parents in Liverpool, England, on January 21, 1876. His early years were spent in poverty, at one point he was sent to live with his grandparents that lived in Newry, Ireland, at the age of five.
James finally reunited with his family and they had all moved to a tiny quaint cottage in Burren, County Down, Ireland, for permanent residency.
His poverty has led him to receive very little education, most of his time was spent working in countless odd jobs during his youth just to make ends meet.
When he turned fourteen, his father had passed away and he had to take apprenticeship at the company his late father worked for. After being dismissed from that job two years later, James found work at a dock and would end up becoming a dock foreman. Read more: Jim Larkin | Biography
He joined the Independent Labour Party after showing extreme interest in socialism around the year of 1893. The Liverpool dock went on strike in 1905, James was one of the few foremen to partake but he jeopardized and lost his position.
The National Union of Dock Labourers were impressed of his performance at the strike and they elected him as a temporary organizer.
In 1907, James Larkin was sent by his union to the capital of Northern Ireland and he recruited more than 400 new employees. As a result, the dock employers became wary of so many new members that they ultimately terminated everyone from the N.U.D.L.
After moving to Dublin, Ireland, he founded the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union during the winter of 1908. James established a pro-labor and left-wing newspaper called “The Irish Worker and People’s Advocate,” in 1911.
He befriended James Connolly and together, they formed the Irish Labour Party. After major industrial companies began to “lock out” their employees associated with the I.T.G.W.U., hundreds of members went on sympathetic strikes.
he infamous “Dublin Lockout” in 1913 lasted for over seven months and affected thousands of Dublin workers, their families and the employers.
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