James Larkin was born in Liverpool city in North West England in the year 1876. He was brought up in slum environment, and due to his poor background, he acquired a minimal formal education. He was constrained to casual work as a kid.
In his youth, he secured regular employment. From that point; he became committed to progressive communism and activism where he focused on ending the exploitation of the workers who were considered as low privileged. James was married to Elizabeth, and together they had four children.
His Involvement in the Trade Unionism
His significance came when he joined and became a coordinator for the National Union of Dock Laborers (NUDL) in 1905. Under the NUDL, he organized a labor force that shock employers. That made his seniors in the union to transfer him to Dublin in 1908 to lead port employees under the union.
In Dublin, Larkin broke ties with NUDL, and then formed Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union which grew and became among the strongest union in the land. The union set its headquarters in Clontarff where it launched a weekly newspaper aimed at articulating workers’ grievances.
Larkin continued to lead employees despite confrontations from various companies. He also worked with Labor Party where he continued to mobilize workers and lead them in demanding better welfare. Due to pressure, he was suppressed, leading to his departure to the U.S. in 1914. By that time, the famous First World War had erupted.
He opposed the U.S. engagement in the war, backing the communist Russia and continued with his activities in trade unionism, which led him to receive a three-year imprisonment and after that his deportation back to Ireland.
Larkin continued with his strong activism spirit whereby he articulated on housing problems and opposed unfavorable acts in 1941. His legacy as an activist who made employers to honor the workers’ privileges and demands still lives on.