In the early 1900s workers rights were nearly non-existent. This caused conflict around the world as workers fought diligently for their rights. In Ireland, one man was largely responsible for the rise of workers rights. That man was Jim Larkin. Larkin was born on a cold night in 1876 in Liverpool, England, one of the largest labor towns in England. Larkin didn’t have an easy childhood. His childhood was filled with financial struggles. His families financial burdens were placed on young Larkin who had to work multiple jobs at a young age just to survive. Eventually, Larkin worked his way up to becoming foreman at the Liverpool Docks (a prestigious position for a young Irish man).During this time, Larkin’s views on labor were becoming hardened, and he was starting to read the works of Karl Marx.
Jim Larkin decided to join the National Union Dock Labourers (NUDL) and became a full-fledged union organizer in 1905. As his position on workers rights became more extreme, Larkin started to become more and more militant. His militancy eventually got him transported out of NUDL to Dublin, Ireland. In Dublin, he set out on his quest to organize workers. To do so, he formed the Irish Transport and General Workers Union. Along with his union, Larkin also formed the Irish Labour Party, uniting all skilled Irish laborers.
Conditions weren’t changing for workers despite his union work, and Larkin was becoming more and more impatient as time went on. Deciding that something big needed to be done if things were going to change, Jim Larkin made a huge move. Larkin organized the Dublin Lockout of 1913. This famous lockout saw over 100,00 Irish workers strike for an astounding 8 long months. This massive organized strike earned workers in Ireland much-needed workers rights and the right to fair employment.
Jim Larkin significant contributions to Irish workers rights earned him a rightful spot in the Irish history books. His hard work and dedication led to workers across Ireland earning employment rights and fair treatment. During times of struggle, people like Jim Larkin fight, tooth and nail, to make a change. Larkin made that change and Ireland is forever thankful for it.