James Larkin, popularly known as ‘’Big Jim’’ was born in 1876 in Liverpool. The socialist and labor organizer was raised in the slums of Liverpool, a fact which deterred him from receiving a formal education. The poor background of his family forced him to work so as to assist in contributing to the family income.
His ventures in different jobs ended up when he got a dock at the docks and later receiving a promotion to be a foreman at the docks. In the year 1903, he got married to Elizabeth Brown and together they had four children. Read more: James Larkin | Biography and James Larkin | Ireland Calling
While working as a foreman he noticed how unfairly laborers were being treated and that’s where the revolution inside him began. This new fire inside him led him to be a full-time socialist and in turn joined the National Union off Dock Laborers (NUDL) as an organizer.
IN 1907, he was moved by NUDL to Dublin due to his use of militant strike methods which in itself caused an alarm. His move to Dublin resulted in the rise of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union(ITGWU).
This came at a time when less than 10% of Irish workers were unionized. ITGWU was endorsed to bring all laborers or Irish origin together indiscriminative of their level of skill. ITGWU was also mandated to advocate for pensions for persons over sixty.
James Larkin and his friend James Connolly formed the Irish Labor party in the year 1912. In 1913, the Dublin Lockout was one of the biggest strikes ever planned and executed by the Irish Labor party that saw a strike lasting for almost eight months participated by more than 100000 workers winning the right to fair employment.
James Larkin also steered anti-war demonstrations during the first world war informing his supporters to keep away from the war
James Larkin went to the United States in October 1914, many thought he had gone there to recuperate but in reality, he went there to change his career to be public speaker While in the United States he was convicted and after a three pardon was deported to Ireland.
He continued his push for fair treatment where he was the first to use the much-acclaimed phrase “A fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay.”