Jim Larkin, “A Man For Change”

Jim Larkin was a man that came from nothing but stood for much more. He began to work at a young age due to his family’s financial hardships. This gave him early insight into what life would be. He made a lasting impact on himself and others.

Larkin was born January 21, 1874, in Liverpool, Ireland. He was raised in a poor area and lacked access to a formal education. He worked for years to support his family, and later, he became a foreman at Liverpool Docks. Read more: Jim Larkin | Biography and Jim Larkin | Wikipedia

Larkin was a socialist that understood workers were being mistreated. He joined the National Union of Dock Laborers. He became full-time in 1905. Many became aware of his message, and he was perceived as a threat.

Jim Larkin’s message wore thin with other leaders, and they had him sent to Dublin, Ireland in 1907. After arriving in Dublin, Larkin continued his work by founding the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://spartacus-educational.com/IRElarkin.htm and http://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/artsfilmtv/books/the-definitive-biography-of-big-jim-larkin-372254.html

Larkin presented a message that would give workers rights, a standard eight hour work day, and pensions for all workers. As expected, he incurred resistance. Jim Larkin teamed with James Connolly in 1912 to begin executing labor strikes.

Larkin helped organized a strike of over 100,000 workers to gain the right to equitable employment. The strike lasted nearly eight months. As the first World War approached Larkin made it known he was against it. He used his influence to project his message.

James Larkin traveled to the United States in 1914 to help raise funding to fight the British. He fought for similar rights and causes in America and was convicted of anarchy and communism. Larkin’s friend Connolly died in the Easter Rising in Ireland.

James Larkin founded the “James Connolly Socialist Club” in New York in honor of his longtime friend. In 1923 Larkin was deported from the United States back to Ireland. In 1924, Larkin organized the Workers Union of Ireland. James Larkin passed away January 30, 1947.

James Larkin was married to Elizabeth Brown since 1904, and the two had four sons. Larkin is remembered as someone who fought for rights and better working standards. He was key in a voice for the workers.