It was in the 19th century; the year was 1876. A great man was born on the 21st of January. This man was James Larkin. Hailing from a humble background, James Larkin was not able to acquire formal education. This then led him to do extra jobs here and there so that he could chip into the family income.
James Larkin grew to understand what workers had to go through since he had been a laborer. From his experience, he was able to realize that workers were truly being short-changed. Read more: Jim Larkin | Biography and Jim Larkin | Wikipedia
This was so because they put in a lot of hours into work but the pay did not match that. It was then that he knew that the time had come for all that to change. He would be the change that the workers needed.
This led him to establish the Irish Transport & General Workers Union. The union was meant to act as an umbrella that would shelter both skilled and unskilled laborers. James Larkin also used the organization as a means of championing the rights of employees. He campaigned for fair treatment of workers, better pay, and recognition of both skilled and unskilled laborers. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/easterrising/profiles/po08.shtml and http://www.rte.ie/centuryireland/index.php/articles/jim-larkin-released-from-prison
He also aimed at ensuring that there was the creation of employment opportunities that entailed working on an 8 hour a day schedule for the unemployed. Furthermore, he wanted an assurance that at the retirement age laborers would be paid their pension faithfully.
In the year 1905, he joined the Union of Dock Labourers as a full-time organizer. More than just being an organizer, he was actively involved in the activities of the union.
James Larkin was able to inspire workers to find their voices too so that they, also, could advocate for their rights. After all, he would not be alive forever, and they needed to keep pushing until something happened.
It is to be known that James Larkin had a family of his own. He married Elizabeth Brown with whom they were blessed with four children. James Larkin kicked the bucket in the year 1947, but is forever remembered. One cannot separate trade unionism and James Larkin.