The organization became unhappy with his militant strike methods, and transferred Larkin to Dublin in 1907. It was there that Larkin founded the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union. It was his hope that all types of industrial workers could be in this single union.
Larkin organized demonstrations in Dublin, the most notable of which was the 1913 Dublin Lockout. This strike took place over eight months and involved over 100,000 workers. The strike eventually led to workers winning the right to fair employment.
Today, this hero of the industrial worker is remembered for the phrase, “A fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay.” Jim Larkin’s commitment to the better working conditions of the common man have earned him a poignant place in Ireland’s history. Perhaps our modern employers could learn a thing or two from him.
Larkin was transferred to Dublin where he founded the Irish Transport & General Workers Union (ITGWU). Larkin’s ambition for the ITGWU was to combine all Irish industrial workers into one union that would benefit both experienced and inexperienced workers.
He set out to establish an eight hour work day, retirement funds for all workers at the age of 60, compulsory arbitration courts, among other objectives.
Larkin teamed up with James Connolly to form the Irish Labour Party which was responsible for leading a run of strikes. The most noteworthy strike, the 1913 Dublin Lockout, involved more than 100,000 workers who went on strike for more than seven months and ultimately gained the right to fair employment. Read more: James Larkin | Biography
At the start of World War 1, Larkin held several large anti-war protest rallies in Dublin. He also traveled to the United States to raise funds where he joined the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World.
He was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison for taking part in the workers’ movement. After three years he was shown leniency, pardoned and extradited to Ireland.
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