James Larkin: Activist for the Ages

James Larkin was a British activist, known for his work as a unionist. Most notably, he founded the Irish Transport and General Worker’s Union. The ITGWU basically initiated the Irish Labour movement. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/easterrising/profiles/po08.shtml

Larkin called for fairer treatment of workers, he wanted to ensure that workers had work days of a decent length, that there was provision for the unemployed and pensions in place for workers when they got older. In fact, he lead the 1913 Dublin Lockout in which a huge number of workers went on strike for about eight months.

The strike resulted in the worker’s winning their right to fair employment. Larkin grew up poor and had very little education. This probably contributed to his popularity, in that he was a man working to help people just like him.

Though Jim Larkin’s work was held in high-esteem by some, some found him to be quite controversial. Terms such as “socialist” and “communism” and “criminal anarchy” have all been thrown around when discussing his work. He had actually been arrested and then absolved of “criminal anarchy” charges. Read more: Jim Larkin | Biography and Jim Larkin | Wikipedia

Some people did not like his method of leading strikes, it has even been referred to as “militant” in some cases. All in all, however, Larkin’s work did mostly good for people. One famous James Larkin quote is ” A fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay”. This simple phrase is something that still applies to society today.

Larkin is an example of the strong, determined activists we need in this world in order to make it a better place for everyone.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *