Life is all about caring. We cease to live when we stop caring about our neighbors. However, when you choose to care for your brother or sister, you allow yourself to become susceptible to all manner of challenges since your friend’s problems also become yours to carry. James Larkin is one man who chose to carry the world on his shoulders.
Born in 1874, Jim grew up to become a renowned labor organizer and activist, an individual best known for creating the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union. Tracing his origin from Liverpool, England, James Larkin created one of the biggest unions ever to get recorded in human history.
However, Jim relocated to America in 1914 after his Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union collapsed, continuing with his labor organizing escapades until he met his death in 1947. Since Larkin was born from a low-income family background, he took up several jobs to help him support his family.
With no education experience, Jim Larkin worked his way up the social ladder and eventually succeeded. When he created ITGWU in 1907, he helped liberate Irish industrial workers who had for a long time been undermined by employers. It is in 1907 that Larkin’s rise to fame all begun.
Years later, Larkin created yet another organization, the Irish Labour Party that saw more than 100,000 workers win the right to fair employment. The Irish Labour Party had raised a strike that saw Irish laborers boycott work for close to eight months. Despite the prolonged time, efforts by the party paid off, all thanks to Jim Larkin. Read more: Jim Larkin – Biography and The Definite Biography of Big Jim Larkin
When World War I broke out in 1914, Jim Larkin went out of his way to hold peaceful demonstrations meant to lure people and countries involved to bring to an end the state of lawlessness at the time. He categorically discouraged his fellow country men and women from engaging themselves in a war that would only lead to the unnecessary loss of life.
Larkin’s approaches for advocating for change are still in use to date by trade unions all over the world. Never for one day has Jim Larkin ever provoked violent rebellions against employers, since he always felt that it would be unreasonable for him to wreck havoc where his trade union members worked.
While living in the U.S., Larkin joined the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World. After the death of his long time friend, James Connolly, Jim created the James Connolly Socialist Club in honor of his ally.
In his prime age, Jim later moved back to Ireland and continued with his trade union activities helping improve the working standards of employees in the country.
Before meeting his death in 1947, Jim Larkin created the famous quote, “Claiming for ourselves liberty of conscience, freedom to worship; we shall see to it that every other individual enjoys the same right.” At the end of it all, Jim fought a good fight, kept the faith, and eventually won the race.