James Larkin (Jim) was a native-born Irishman from Liverpool, England. He established the Irish Transport and General Workers Union (ITGWU) which ultimately became the country’s largest known union at the time.
The Union made Irish history as the most-significant dispute within the transport and general workers industry which lasted for four years. When ITGWU was restructured due to the 20,000 workers creating the dispute, Jim relocated to the United States.
Jim is a legend and historical figure for his leading role in facilitating the disputes of workers. In 1907, because of his distinct organization of local disputes within Liverpool, he was chosen to lead the charge of the National Union of Dock Laborers (NUDL) in Belfast.
The British Union was the catalyst that Jim used to establish the sympathetic strike which is now known as solidarity action or secondary boycott. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/big-jim-larkin-hero-and-wrecker/
The action involves an industrial industry that supports the union workers with the intent on distinguishing the dispute by workers through direct contact initiated by the employer. The action is widely used in today’s society in supply industries; however, only British and American workers are permitted to use the method against a direct employer.
Because of the moderate success in Belfast, Jim’s reputation was more known, and he became a public figure which caused contrast among businesses and companies. However, unskilled workers supported his efforts which allowed Jim to conduct a full-scale industrial dispute on behalf of workers.
Jim took the opportunity to establish ITGWU which later brought a social revolution and regular formation of trade unions. General strikes began to form all across the country.
His efforts enabled ITGWU to become the first union of an Irish trade industry to organize a strike for both skilled and unskilled workers. After the word spread throughout the community of Belfast of its success, other Irish communities set up the same formation to initiate unions.
Due to Jim’s eventual legacy for creating the worker’s right to dispute and unionize, the Irish Congress of Trades Union agreed to endorse his efforts and formed a Labor Party which established Jim as a labor champion of his time.