As you get over the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, there is one person you should keep close to your heart, especially if you are someone who believes labor unions are worthwhile. James (Jim) Larkin was someone who dedicated his life to the labor movement and making sure that people he worked with were getting a fair day’s pay.
While he was Irish, he was born in Liverpool, England. As he grew into a man he became one of the region’s biggest labor leaders when he started the Irish Transport and General Workers Union.
The problem turned out to be that it was too big and when the English and Irish governments took aim at the union, it turned out they were a bit stronger than the will of the people who had joined that group.
The ITGWU eventually fell apart shortly after the Dublin lockout and that was also the thing that forced Larkin to head to the United States.
When Larkin moved to the United States in 1914he continued his labor organizing movements. While he gained quite a few allies when he was trying to form unions in the United States, he also found himself an enemy of that country as well because he was well known as a fervent Marxist.
To those who knew and liked him, they expected Larkin to be going to the United States just for a short stay. It turns out that Jim Larkin had decided that he wanted to become a motivational speaker who could rally unions all over the globe.
While he was indeed a very good speaker, he was also someone who got quite a few enemies along the way. The enemies of what he stood for were also able to stand in the way of him earning money, making it that much more difficult to really attain the living he wanted.
In the end, he was eventually deported from the United States because of his pro-communist views. While some labor leaders would claim they didn’t share a Marxist outlook, Larkin didn’t hide where he got his inspiration. In 1940, he passed away back in Dublin.
Learn more about Jim Larkin:
http://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/big-jim-larkin-hero-and-wrecker/ and http://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/artsfilmtv/books/the-definitive-biography-of-big-jim-larkin-372254.html