James Larkin was born in the slums of Liverpool, England in 1876 and had little education. Despite his lack of a solid educational background he went ahead to do manual jobs and was later hired as a foreman at the docks. He was part of the national union of dock laborious and later in 1906 he was appointed as a trade union organizer.
The NUDL (The national union of dock laborious) didn’t like the stern action, and so he was moved to Dublin where he formed the ITGWU, a transport and workers union. The idea behind the formation of the union was the need for all people to have a trade union that caters to their needs.
In December 1908 he came up with the political programme of the ITGWU which outlined the pensions and provisions for workers who were above 60 years. The program took into account all means of transport, nationalization of canals and a compulsory arbitration court. Read more: James Larkin | Biography and Jim Larkin | Wikipedia
His drive for fairness and equality led to the development of the Irish labor party which organized a series of strikes with the most significant being the Dublin lockout which involved more than a hundred thousand striking workers in a period of eight months.
Larkin never used violence in all of his strike with most of his methods being sympathetic including boycotting of goods and sympathetic strikes. He realized that if he were involved in wrecking the firms where his workers worked, he would not manage to create a mass trade union.
Although the Irish press was against the trade unions, he still had a lot of followers including William Butler and Constance Markievicz.
At the inception of World War one, he encouraged the Irish not to be involved in the war. Jim Larkin later went on tour to America in 1914 on a lecture tour to raise funds for fighting the British.