James Larkin Spokesman for Irish Workers Solidarity

James Larkin (January 21, 1876–January 30, 1947) was an Irish union leader and organized trade unions in Ireland. He was initially born in Liverpool, England. James Larkin established his first trade union in Burren, Ireland in 1905. Two years later he moved to Belfast and was founded several trade unions. Among these trade unions, he established in Belfast were the General Workers Union; the Irish Transport and later the Irish Labor Party. James Larkin is best remembered as the person who was the primary cause of the Irish 1913 Dublin Lockout. The Dublin Lockout was the result of the clash between the two Workers Unions of James Larkin, which were the Irish Transport and the General Workers’ Union; the Dublin lockout occurred in 1909, only four years after they were founded. The Dubin Lockout dispute arose between James Larkin on the one hand who wanted fair treatment of all workers in general. On the other hand, William Martin Murphy who had founded the Dublin Employers’ Federation and owner of several newspapers in retaliation of Larkin’ methods gathered together his workers and forced them to take an oath not to join the unions of Larkin. Larkin did everything he could to ensure that workers could return to work safely, but Murphy convinced workers to sign his pledge not to work with Larkin and his worker’s unions. At the apex of the battle between the two approximately 20,000 Dublin workers were locked out of work. Finally, humiliated a near-starving the workers had to sign Murphy’s pledge to return to work and when they did had to take a lower wage. It was a disconcerting blow to efforts of solidarity between workers James Larkin had worked to establish in Dublin. Throughout the Dublin Lockout Larkin was able to stand up for a just pay for all workers and the end of poverty. He asked his workers to not give in to oppression and made a strong stance to rid Dublin of Poverty conditions.

It was thru James Larkin’s efforts to support his labor union workers that led to the establishment of worker solidarity and the fair treatment of workers.