The Life of a Labor Organizer: James Larkin

Looking at important figures in history is a way to discover the past and uncover what lead to events today. Actions of people who made efforts to change the world are often catalysts today. Brave men and women who have come before us have rich stories worth sharing with the world. One of those brave people is a man by the name of James Larkin, an Irish labor leader. Read more: Jim Larkin | Wikipedia and Jim Larkin | Biography

A Leader is Born

Although he would go on to help the Irish people with their labor movement and be an active participant in the worker rights discussions that commenced around him during his life, James Larkin was not born in Ireland. Born in the United Kingdom in 1876, James Larkin moved to the United States in 1914.

He did not stay in the United States all his life. In fact, the US Government deported James Larkin based on his communist activities. In Ireland, workers’ rights organizations needed his help, and he was also involved in anti-war movements.

Larkin’s Approach

James Larkin was a Marxist and a socialist. According to, a workers’ rights group in Liverpool found Larkin’s “militant strike methods alarm[ing].” The union sent Larkin away from Liverpool to live in Dublin for the first time. He kept coming back to Dublin throughout his life, and the Irish city would be his final resting place when he died in 1947.

In his long life, James Larkin was involved in some fairly successful movements that brought clearly defined rights to workers in Ireland. He was a founder of the Irish Labor Party, and he helped set up a strike of 100,000 workers.

The large strike was successful, and workers earned satisfactory rights. Rights that James Larkin helped bring to workers include clearly defined work hours, better pay, and pensions for the retired.

Remembering James Larkin

We remember James Larkin for his inclusion in movements that brought more rights to workers. His triumphs are unforgotten. He is quoted saying, “A fair day’s work for a fair day’s penny.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *