James Larkin: The Socialist Who Fought For The Rights Of Labourers In Ireland

James Larkin is a significant figure in Ireland. He was the founder of the Irish Transport and General Worker’s Union. He was known for the numerous efforts he undertook to bring about change in the system which the laborers worked in.

He was an activist who very actively fought for the rights of the workers and for the benefit of the society in which he lived. He was born in 2976 in Liverpool to a family of Irish descent. He then moved to Burren with his family and lived in the countryside while growing up.

When he was younger, his family did not have much going for them and would struggle to make ends meet. When he was still a child, he had to take up odd jobs around the village to help his family with their financial crisis that they were facing at the time.

Even though he had to work hard for his family, he did not give up on his education. He would attend his classes early in the mornings and soon after go to one of the many jobs that he had. After the death of his father, he had to work even harder, and thus left to get a better job in a more established part of the country. He later got a job as a sailor and started working as a dock foreman. Read more: Jim Larkin – Biography

Having experienced so many work environments very early in life, he was well aware of the discrimination that laborers would often have to face. He knew the harsh lifestyle that certain professions demanded at the time, and thus wanted to improve these conditions of the people who were working in these jobs. He became interested in socialism and started trying to think of ways in which he could make a difference. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/easterrising/profiles/po08.shtml

While still working as the dock foreman, he took up a position as the strike committee leader and began working to organize the people who were working alongside him. He saw a good amount of success in his work place, bringing about numerous reforms that changed the way the people working there would have to function.

One of the things that James Larkin mobilized his colleagues for was for the protest against the entry of Chinese immigrants into their sector. With the opening up to other countries for immigration, people from countries like China would take up positions akin to the kind that James Larkin had but would work for lower wages.

Seeing as how they could get more out of their employees, the company began letting some of its existing employees go. James Larkin saw this as a wrong move, claiming that it would harm the country in more ways than they could imagine since more people would be rendered as unemployed as compared to other nations.

One of the biggest endeavors that James Larkin was part of was his involvement with the city wide trade union movement in Ireland, leading the dock workers within the city to fight for better work conditions and wages.

 

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