Jim Larkin Shows The Moral High Ground Can be Taken Through Union-Based Activism
In the late 19th and early 20th-centuries, the trade union system was still struggling to be accepted across the globe by employers who feared the effects the mobilization of skilled and unskilled workers would have on their profit margins.
History now looks back at this period as the time when James Larkin stepped up from his humble background to become one of the most formidable political leaders of the 20th-century; overall, the influential period for Larkin lasted a short period and was over by the time he moved to the U.S. in 1918. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/easterrising/profiles/po08.shtml and http://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/big-jim-larkin-hero-and-wrecker/
Born in Liverpool in 1874, Larkin had little education but made his way to the docks of the influential city and began working a series of jobs before he joined the National Union of Dock Laborers and began a career which would bring him closer to his own socialist ideal from 1905.
Although he proved himself a successful full-time union organizer, Jim Larkin would soon be moved to Dublin, Ireland after his intensity and non-traditional tactics put him at odds with union leaders in Liverpool and the U.K. as a whole.
Despite being generally respected and known as one of the most influential figures in the socialist and trade union movements in the world, Larkin is also seen as a man looking to promote his own abilities and image across the world.
Larkin saw his opportunity to become something of a legend to the workers of Ireland when he saw less than 10 percent of the workforce was unionized; establishing the Irish Transport and General Workers Union allowed Larkin to bring both skilled and unskilled workers into the union fold and become a savior to the people of the nation.
A fierce republican who organized rallies against the First World War in Dublin, Jim Larkin is credited as the driving force behind the creation of the Labor Party in the U.K. which remains one of the two main political parties.
The Dublin Lockout which saw 100,000 workers strike for 18 months in 1913 was the great achievement of Jim Larkin before his fall from power led to his move to the middle of the political road and a tame end to his public career and life in the 1940s.