A Brief Biography of James Larkin

This article is a short biography put together about James Larkin. He also was commonly known as Big Jim. His occupation was as a unionist. He was born in slums of Liverpool, England on January 21, 1876. His parents were actually Irish. Also, he was not given a whole lot of education.

However, the lack of education did not stop Larkin from all the accomplishments he has made. He received a job as a foreman of the Liverpool docks, and completed many physical jobs.

He was a socialist and believed on giving the workers conditions that were fairer. Later, in 1905 he became a trade union organizer who worked full time.

However, the NUDL (National Union of Dock Laborers) was not in favor of Larkin’s methods of strike action and got moved in 1907 to Dublin. This is where, he established the (ITGWU) Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union (ITGWU).

His main aim was for Industrial workers who were without skill and with skills to form under one union which would work best for their welfare. In the year 1908, a political program would be outlined for the ITGWU. It would give pensions for every worker at sixty years of age, provide work for the jobless, and give a legal eight-hour day.

In 1914, Larkin traveled to the United States to go to a lecture tour. He was also there to raise enough money to fight the British. While there, Larkin had joined America’s Socialist Party. He also joined the (IWW) Industrial Workers of the World. Later, in 1920, Larkin had been convicted of communism and criminal anarchy. However, in 1923 he was pardoned and then went back to Ireland.

It was in Ireland where Larkin set up the Workers’ Union of Ireland. Not only that, but he also saved recognition from Communist International in 1924. It was that year where Larkin established the (WUI) the Workers’ Union of Ireland.

Then twenty-one years later he became in the membership of the Irish Labor Party. He would keep on working for workers benefits until he died in 1947 on January 30.

Read more:

James Larkin | Ireland Calling
Jim Larkin | Biography