Meet the Irish Unionist Hero, Jim Larkin

Whenever people think about social ideals and beliefs of the Irish trade unions and political leadership, one man that one cannot ignore is Jim Larkin. The England-born hero impacted Liverpool greatly as a result of his commitment to ensuring that social justice was achieved.

Jim Larkin’s motto that made him famous to date is A Fair Day’s Work, For a Fair Day’s Pay. The historical figure believed in justice and the significance of rewarding workers.

Foundation of the ITGWU

Although he was born in Liverpool, Jim Larkin has always been associated with Ireland, Dublin since this is the place he spent most parts of his career life. He is remembered to be the founder of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union (ITGWU) which changed the livelihood of low and middle-income earners by ensuring that decent minimum wedges were recommended.

A key idea associated with the union was to get more members including those in the British-based unions. Since many activists felt neglected by the British labor, they moved together with their workers to Jim Larkin’s movement. Another plan that Jim had in mind was to unionize all workers; he thought that building “One Big Union” would help protect the workers; this later became a reality.

Forming the Labor Party

Jim Larkin managed to increase the union size within a short period of time. In 2012, ITGWU had 15,000 from 5,000 making it the key player in the Trade Union Congress. As a result of the large numbers, Jim Larkin was able to establish Labour Party.

Through the party, he was able to pass the standardized working hours rights in which employees could work for a maximum of 8 hours a day. Read more: James Larkin | Biography and James Larkin – Wikipedia

The party also managed to address issues related with to worker suffrage as well as arbitration courts to further ensure that workers were protected. Furthermore, Jim Larkin managed to pass the legislation which would oversee each worker receiving pension one they turned 60.

Peaceful movements

Jim Larkin always considered peaceful means of addressing workers’ union issues. He never considered violence against the strikebreakers as he understood that any demolition of the Dublin industries would, in turn, render the people he protected jobless.

The trade union leader would do anything to ensure that all workers were placed in serene environments that would foster productivity. He still remains one of the most memorable figures in the union history.