Trade unionism cannot have a name of any legends if not that of James Larkin. This is the man that gave the trade union movements of before, a purpose and will to fight for the rights of workers. He is the man that gave the movement voice, and up to now, is praised and respected.
Having a personal experience with unfair treatment, James Larkin decided to take minor but effective steps to fight for equality. He felt the pinch of inequality both in wage and treatment in the workplace just after the death of his father in 1990. Saddening it was that the man who had provided for the family for well over 20 years was gone and would never return.
James Larkin then got his first employment in his father’s position at a firm. This firm was initially sorry for Jim’s loss, but as he continued working and thus showing his minimal experience, treatment towards him started to change.
His wages also went down tremendously. This made James Larkin sad and mad at the same time because it would mean that he could not provide for his family yet they needed him so much because he was the sole remaining breadwinner. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/easterrising/profiles/po08.shtml and http://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/big-jim-larkin-hero-and-wrecker/
Jim left the firm after he had promised himself that when he got his next job, he would set aside most of his time to fighting for the rights of employees like him.
He got meager opportunities like those of a sailor and also docker, but this didn’t do much for him. When he became a foreman for the docks is when finally he achieved one of his life goals.
He organized a particular strike so well that his fellow foreman at the docks elected him into the strike committee. This angered the leaders of the dock association.
James Larkin was therefore fired without wages for that month of the strike. That was not a discouragement but rather a fuel for him to keep doing what he was doing, and even do it better. NUDL seemed to like his qualities and dedication. Read more: Jim Larkin | Biography and James Larkin | Ireland Calling
The union took in Jim Larkin and made him an organizer of strikes, an area where he so much excelled in. James Larkin then disagreed with James Sexton.
This disagreement was the beginning of a rivalry which would end with James Larkin leaving NUDL. He went on with his dreams when he led to the rise of ITGWU which became the center of his focus, having his best friend beside him; James Connolly.