Big Jim Larkin, Man of the People

“Big Jim” James Larkin was a leader of the people in Ireland pushing for equal wages. Married in 1903 to Elizabeth Brown, his famous phrase was “fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay”. By all accounts, he was in Irish labor activist and organizer.

Jim Larkin was born in Liverpool, England, in 1876, and died in 1947. Born to Irish parents in Liverpool, he started out life as a dock worker, and first created the NUDL- which is the National Union of Dock Laborers.

His methods of going on strike were so harsh that the English government shipped him to Ireland where his parents were from. In Ireland, he is most famous for establishing the largest union in the Dublin area, the “Irish Transport and General Workers Union” (ITGWU). Learn more about Jim Larkin: and

Before World War I in Dublin, he created protests in response to the war by creating the Irish Labour Party. He organized a bunch of strikes, and the most famous one was the one where he gathered 100,000 people in 1913 called the “Dublin Lockout”. Read more: Jim Larkin | Wikipedia and Jim Larkin | Biography

Workers went on strike for 8 months until they got what they wanted, which was equal pay and rights. He was so involved that he even traveled to the United States of America to gather money to help fight against the British. His apartment in Greenwich Village was the center of his activities.

Big Jim was so passionate about his work that in America he was even charged for communism and anarchy in 1920. He was later deported back to Ireland because of his acts in America. By the time he had got back to Ireland, the ITGWU had essentially dissolved.

He will forever be known as the man who revolutionized trade unions!