Union Leader Jim Larkin’s Work Reassessed After His American Travels

By the time of the outbreak of the First World War, Dublin-based trade union leader, Jim Larkin was a man struggling to find his place in the world after what was seen at the time as the failure of the 1913 Dublin Lockout.

The strike was the culmination of the growing unionism inspired by the arrival of Jim Larkin on the Dublin Docks in Ireland after he had been removed from his position as a union organizer in his home city of Liverpool in England.

Over the course of seven years in Ireland, Larkin had established the trade union movement as a major force in the nation and helped establish the Irish Labor Party alongside James Connolly.

As the First World War broke out, the socialist and republican views of Larkin came to the fore with his fervent anti-war views were shown in a series of demonstrations he hoped would keep as many Irish men out of service for the British Armed Forces as possible.

Jim Larkin obviously had a desire to assist as many people as possible in living a better life through his skills as a trade union organizer and political leader.  Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/big-jim-larkin-hero-and-wrecker/ and

However, Larkin always wished to raise his own profile and develop a strong career to help him provide for his wife in Dublin; Larkin eventually set out for the U.S. planning to find work as a public speaker but had not made any firm plans at the time of his departure and soon found himself struggling to find engagements.

Deported in 1920, Jim Larkin would eventually become an elder statesman in the union and Labour movement as he mellowed with age but never lost the drive to better the lives of the workers of Ireland.

Since his death, his prominent role in the early trade union movement has been reassessed by experts who now believe he should be held in similar esteem to his colleague and friend, James Connelly.

Read more:  James Larkin | Ireland Calling

Jim Larkin | Wikipedia

The Life and Contributions of Irish Trade Unionist, Jim Larkin

James Larkin, also known as Jim, was an Irish Trade Unionist. Jim was born in Liverpool, England to Irish parents on the 21st of January 1876. He received minimal formal education and did a variety of casual jobs. He rose to become a foreman at the Liverpool docks, and he developed a determination to fight for better working conditions.

Jim enrolled at the National Union of Dock Labourers (NUDL). In 1905, Jim became a full-time trade union organizer. However, in 1907, Jim got a transfer to Dublin because apparently, his militant strike action methods alarmed the NUDL.

Jim then decided to form the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union (ITGWU) to bring all Irish workers together, whether skilled or unskilled. Under his leadership, ITGWU’s program demanded that workers do only eight hours work a day, employment for all and pensions for those over 60 years.

In 1912, together with James Connolly, Jim founded the Irish Labor Party. Through the party, he led a chain of strikes to push for the party’s agenda. Notable is the 1913 Dublin Lockout where more than a hundred thousand workers downed their tools for over half a year, eventually getting fair employment conditions.

Though he never used violence in his strikes, the press was against Larkin’s methods which included sympathetic strikes and boycott of goods. He still had support from people like Constance Markievicz and Patrick Pearse. Larkin also led anti-war demonstrations at the onset of the World War I.

In 1914 he toured the USA to raise funds for his union activities. In America, he joined the Industrial Workers of the World and the Socialist Party of America. While Jim was still in the US, the Easter Rising of 1916 occurred in Ireland. In 1918, Jim founded the James Connolly Socialist Club in New York in remembrance of Connolly who died in the Easter Rising.

In 1920, Jim got arrested and detained on criminal anarchy and communism charges. He was released in 1924 and deported back to Ireland where he founded the Workers’ Union of Ireland and gained recognition from the Communist International.

He also joined the Irish Labor Party and continued his work as a trade unionist until his death on 30, January 1947.

Role of various human, civil and migrants’ rights groups

The role of human rights groups is critical to the welfare society. They are the watchdogs that ensure that the government or powerful people do not misuse their power to oppress people they are supposed to protect.

Human rights groups have a responsibility of ensuring there is fairness in the society. The activities of these organization s deserve to be supported by all people of good will.

American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)

American Immigration Lawyers Association is one of the oldest organization in the United States. It was formed in 1946. It is composed of lawyers and other legal experts.

Its main role is to provide legal support to the victims of human rights violations. They also educate and sensitive people on the importance of human rights. Given that is it’s an organization of lawyers, it is also goes to court to seek an interpretation of contentious immigration laws and policies effected by the government.

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Coalition for Humane Immigration Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)

Coalition for Humane Immigration Rights of Los Angeles is another group that protects the rights of the immigrants in the United States. They engage in public awareness as a way of informing people about the importance of not respecting the rights of others.

This is one of the most successful groups in fighting for the rights of the immigrant community in the U.S. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikipedia and Jim Larkin | Angel.co

Coalition for Humane Immigration Rights of Los Angeles collaborates with other human rights organization such as CGWA to push the immigration agenda through the lawmaking process.

Advocates for Human Rights

Advocates for Human Rights is a global organization which was established in 1986 with the aim of advocating for human rights globally. Advocates for Human Rights is a nonprofit organization, and it aims to advocate and highlight human rights violations cases.

Advocates for Human Rights usually conducts independent investigations on human rights violations of high magnitude. They also train other human rights organizations on how to conduct themselves in their advocacy work. They especially specialize in training organizations that deal with issues of children.

The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund

The organization supports other civil, human and migrants organizations through financing. They also support civil societies which advocate for freedom of speech in Arizona. It was started by Michael Larkin and Jim Larkin. The two are owners of Village Voice Media and Phoenix New Times, two popular media outlets in the state of Arizona.

They started the organization using the money they received from the state following an order of the courts of appeals that they are compensated for unfair incarceration. They had been arrested by the Sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio. They were arrested from their homes in the middle of the night.

Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey:


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