James Larkin, also known as Jim Larkin was born January 21st, 1876 in Liverpool, England to Irish Parents. Like most poverty-stricken families at that time, James, at the age of 7 began working in the evenings after school to help support his family. In 1890, at the age of 14, Jim’s father died and Jim was given a position in the firm that his father once worked.
In 1893 Jim Became a member of the Independent Labour Party since he had acquired a new interest in socialism.After his dismissal from the firm, Jim became a sailor and docker. He had found him a lovely wife by the name of Elizabeth Brown and by this time he had been promoted to foreman and was one of the few to participate in the strike on Liverpool docks.
Because of his role on the job, he was elected to strike committee. This, of course, caused him to lose his foreman position but was noted by the National Union of Dock Labourers. They were so impressed that the named him temporary organizer. Gaining permanent standings later down the line, his reputation planted him in Scotland in 1906 where he organized workers in Preston and Glasgow. He successfully campaigned against Chinese immigration saying ti was killing the work opportunities for the locals.
In January 1907, James Larkin arrived in Belfast, Ireland to conduct the dock workers in a strike against the city’s employers. In 1908, Larkin headed south to organize workers in Dublin, Cork, and Waterford. Unfortunately, his disapproved involvement in a dispute in Dublin led to hisdisbandment from the NUDL. After his expulsion, Larkin founded the Irish Transport and General Workers Union.
Mr. James Larkin was later prosecuted by the National Union of Dock Labourers for diverting union funds to pay strike-workers in Cork. He was convicted and sentenced to a year in prison but was released only after three months because it was seen as an unjust sentencing.
In 1912 Larkin helped form the Irish Labour Party and was elected to Dublin Corporation. One of Larkin’s most noted features was his involvement in the Dublin Lockout in 1913. Through his courageous stands against the oppressing corporations, he has helped the “little guys” stand up for themselves.