Over 100 years ago, work was a brutal endeavor where long hours and low pay were the norms. However, a handful of brave people organized workers to demand and subsequently receive fair wages and safer working conditions. The story of one of those heroes, Jim Larkin, stands out in the history of organized labor.
Mr. Larkin was born in Liverpool, England in 1876. Mr. Larkin’s working-class upbringing meant that young man had to spend more time at work than at school. Eventually, the young man would become a foreman on one of Liverpool’s hardscrabble docks. And it was there that Mr. Larkin’s passion for helping his fellow workers was born.
Having seen countless episodes of worker abuse, Jim Larkin joined the National Union of Dock Labourers. A few years later, the Liverpool foreman would become a popular union organizer. Mr. Larkin was a committed socialist whose methods of organizing strikes rattled union bosses at the National Union of Dock Labourers. As a result, Mr. Larkin was transferred to Dublin, presumably to cause less trouble. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://spartacus-educational.com/IRElarkin.htm and http://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/big-jim-larkin-hero-and-wrecker/
Jim Larkin did not keep a low profile while in Dublin. In fact, just the opposite happened. Mr. Larkin created the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union with the goal of one day organizing every worker in Ireland. A few years later, Mr. Larkin founded the Irish Labour Party where he gained a national platform to organize his fellon workers across the nation. The creation of this Labour Party subsequently leads to the great Dublin Lockout of 1913.
The Dublin Lockout created an eight month nationawide strike where Ireland came to a virtual standstill. The result of the nationwide strike was a groundbreaking agreement between labour and management wherin workers won many rights to fair wages and safer work enviornments.
Today, Jim Larkin is known as one of the pioneers of organized labor. Everyone who works fo a living owes a debt of gratitute for the hard work and persistance of Jim Larkin.