Trade Union Lessons to Learn From James Larkin

Published / by soundproof

James Larkin is credited as the brain behind the establishment of various trade unions across the globe. Born in England on January 21, 1876, Larkin becomes an architect of the largest trade union in the continent. He is the founder of the General Workers Union (GWU). Before he was appointed to become the foreman, Mr. Larkin used to run errands and do other forms of manual jobs.

But that was not the career that Larkin had drawn for himself, as a socialist, he was keen on improving the working conditions of various employees. He was committed to ensuring that all the employees were treated with dignity and with equality. To actualize these ideas, Larkin became a member of National Union of Dock Laborers. By the year 1905, James Larkin had decided to become a lifetime trade unionist.

The NUDL workers union did not like how Larkin approached and dealt with issues. As such, they conspired to move him outside the country, to Dublin. He would take his time while in Dublin to form his trade union; Irish Transport and General Workers Union (ITGWU). He then went on a mission to ensure that at least every employee, regardless of education or social background became a member of the union.

To him, a trade union provided a more convenient method of seeking for better pay and improved working conditions without a threat of dismissal. With time in ITGWU, Larkin started becoming insecure; he resolved to become petty whenever an idea of the rival group came to his mind.

In the year 1908, James Larkin developed a political program fir IGTWU. According to the statement, an employee was only supposed to work for a maximum of 8 hours in a day. He also fought for the creation of jobs to cater for the unemployed. He then vouched for a pension to all those who were sixty years of age and above.

With the program, a worker was entitled to fair arbitration and suffrage in a competent court of law. James Larkin intended to make sure that Ireland became beneficial and important to the Irish people. Learn more about Jim Larkin:

In the year 1912, James Larkin together James Connolly formed the labor party in Ireland. Using this party, the two were able to organize and execute some industrial actions. The biggest of these being the Dublin Lockout. During this period, over one hundred thousand people participated in the strike. In the end, they got a fair remuneration and better working conditions.

James Larkin was a very cunning and intelligent young man. Whenever a company failed to honor their demands, he would advise the members to boycott or participate on the go slow when buying products from the particular trader. As a trade unionist, he abhorred violence.

He understood the simple fact, which engaging in violence was not good for his members especially in the organizations that they worked. Actually, during the World War 1, Larkin is on record requesting his members to desist from violence.

In the year 1914, James Larkin went to the United States to give a public lecture. During this period, Larkin joined the socialist party. He would later form a socialist club in honor of his departed friend; Connolly