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Jim Larkin’s Contribution in the Trade Union Movement

If you keep up with historical figures, you probably know who Jim Larkin is. Larkin was a renowned Irish labor organizer, as well as an activist. He is always remembered for his work as a trade unionist. He is also the founder of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union.

Jim Larkin was born in England in 1874, and died in 1947. He was a Marxist whose work continued well into the 1940s. What most people do not know is that he grew up in the slums, in Liverpool.

While he only had little formal education, Jim Larkin had to work in order to support his family. At a young age, he decided to try his hands at various jobs, including being a foreman. Read more: James Larkin | Biography and Jim Larkin | Wikipedia

It was while he was working at the Liverpool docks that he developed his socialist ideologies. He believed that workers were treated unfairly, and something had to change.

That was when he decided to join the National Union of Dock Labourers, otherwise known as NUDL. BY 1905, he was a full-time trade unionist and organizer.

While at NUDL, Jim Larkin became known for his strikes, which adopted militant approaches. He was later transferred to Dublin, Ireland, in 1907. While there, he founded the Irish Transport and General Workers.

His mission for the union was to have both skilled and unskilled workers joining the same organisation. A few years later, Larkin decided to form the Irish Labor Party, and through the organisation, he led a series of labor strikes.

One of the most remembered strikes which Larkin led is the famous Dublin Lockout, in 1913. During the strike, well over 10000 workers participated in a strike that lasted more than 8 months. They successful won the right to fair employment. Jim Larkin will always be remembered for such great contributions to the trade union movement.