James Larkin was an Irish activist and ambassador who is known for founding the Irish Transport and the General Workers Union. Born in Liverpool, England on January 28,1874, Larkin lacked formal education, causing him to delve into odd jobs to assist his family finances.
While working as a foreman at the Liverpool Docks, he began to realize the unfair treatment of his fellow workers, resulting in him joining the National Union of Dock Laborers, or NUDL, in 1905. His radical approach concerned the NUDL, causing him to be sent off to Dublin in 1907. Read more: Jim Larkin | Biography and Jim Larkin | Wikipedia
While there, he began to organize the General Workers Union, with hopes of providing a organization that supported all Irish workers, skilled and unskilled. Larkin’s most prolific mark on history is organizing the Dublin Lockout, where nearly 100,000 workers went on strike for almost nine months. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/artsfilmtv/books/the-definitive-biography-of-big-jim-larkin-372254.html
This eventually led to the workers winning the right to fair employment, after years of unfair working conditions. Larkin’s international presence was well known, as he relocated to the United States, where he did lectures and also raised money for the fight against the British during the midst of World War I.
While in the US, Lakrin remained active in his efforts by joining organizations such as the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World.
In 1920, under scrutiny by U.S officials, Larkin was convicted on criminal charges, only to be pardoned three years later and eventually deported back to Ireland. James “Jim” Larkin paved the way for labor unions across the world, as he constantly fought for equal rights among workers, making him an unprecedented leader, even today.