the irish labour movement and the 1913 lockout n.
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THE IRISH LABOUR MOVEMENT AND THE 1913 LOCKOUT. Overview. James Connolly and Jim Larkin. Employers force employees to quit Unions. Connolly founded Citizens Army. 1913 Lockout and ITGWU William Martin Murphy and Employers association win. James Connolly and the Start of Socialism.

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  • James Connolly and Jim Larkin.
  • Employers force employees to quit Unions.
  • Connolly founded Citizens Army.
  • 1913 Lockout and ITGWU
  • William Martin Murphy and Employers association win.
james connolly and the start of socialism
James Connolly and the Start of Socialism

Types of Socialism

  • Gradualist. Slow and peaceful. Getting reform acts passed.
  • Marxists or Revolutionary Socialists
  • Syndicalist. One big trade union would bring about a revolution.
problems for irish socialism
Problems for Irish Socialism
  • Only one part industrialised
  • Workers up north divided
  • Home Rule diverted attention
  • Work for skilled workers scarce and they were afraid.
craft unions
Craft Unions
  • Tradesmen better off due to greater demand.
  • Members of branches of British unions but after 1895 were affiliated to the Irish Trades Union Congress (ITUC).
  • 1900 KeirHardie (Marxist) elected MP. Founded the Labour Party in Britain.
james connolly
James Connolly
  • 1896 Connolly a friend of Hardie lost his job in Edinburgh and came to work for the Dublin Socialist Society.
  • A syndicalist, he set up the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP)
  • Newspaper of IRSP was ‘The Worker’s Republic’.
  • Unlike Marx, Connolly believed in nationalism. First you must get rid of the Empire.
  • Little support in Ireland and wages often did not come so in 1903 he went to the US and did not return until 1910.
james larkin and the development of irish trade unionism background
James Larkin and the Development of Irish Trade UnionismBackground
  • Early 1900s difficult times for unskilled.
  • Few jobs
  • low wages
  • High inflation
  • Trade Unions for unskilled set up all over Europe.
  • Strikes.
jim larkin
Jim Larkin
  • National Union of Dock Labourers
  • 1907 Strike. Strikers = sympathetic strike. Even police on strike for overtime.
  • Dockers got nothing but transport workers got a rise.
  • Shocked when he came to Dublin.
  • 3 successful Dockers strikes but fell out with his union who felt he was going too far.
  • In 1910 he was jailed for misuse of Dockers Union funds.
  • Larkin was a great speaker. Great energy but arrogant and dictatorial.
  • A syndicalist, he set up Irish Transport and General Workers Union.
  • ITGWU become very popular.
  • William O Brien helped.
  • Connolly returned and started a branch in Belfast.
  • Sympathetic strikes made ‘blacklegs’ difficult to find.
william martin murphy
William Martin Murphy
  • A Catholic nationalist.
  • Made fortune building railways and tramways in GB, Africa and South America.
  • Owned Dublin Tramway Company and built a power station in Ringsend to power it.
  • Owned the Irish Independent, Evening Herald and The Irish Catholic (influence)
  • 68 in 1913.
  • Cold, austere, distinguished and hard-working.
  • Paid over the odds and housed some of his workers.
  • But work was part time for the first 6 years.
  • 12 hours a day with few days off. Fined for late trams.
  • Larkin had no trouble recruiting some of his workers.
  • Murphy founded the Employer’s Federation.
murphy attacks
Murphy attacks
  • Sacked 6 ITGWU men and at midnight held a meeting of Tramway men and told them to choose.
  • Did the same in the ‘Irish Independent’ and 60 were sacked.
  • Eason’s workers went on sympathetic action.
  • 200 Tramway workers sacked when they also refused to handle the papers.
the tramway strike
The Tramway Strike
  • Larkin called a general strike in the Tramway Co. at the start of Horse Show week (26th August).
  • Murphy got police to surround the power station and managed to keep trams running.
  • Murphy had won the battle but Dublin Castle messed it up by trying to help.
  • They jailed Connolly and others. Larkin got bail.
  • They banned a big ITGWU meeting for Sackville Street on Sunday 31st August. (contrast with Unionists in Belfast)
  • On Saturday night a demonstration at Liberty Hall against these measures was baton charged by police, killing 2 and injuring 30.
the tramway strike continued
The Tramway Strike (Continued)
  • William O Brien, hoping to avoid more violence moved the Sunday meeting to outside the city and 10000 attended.
  • Larkin in disguise. Murphy’s ‘Imperial Hotel’.
  • Police enraged batoned everyone.
  • 500 injured, most not trade unionist at all.
  • Larkin jailed.
  • Police invaded ‘Corporation Buildings’, a tenement, beating up innocent people.
  • On Tuesday tenements in Church Street collapsed killing 2 children. 
  • A wave of sympathy for the ITGWU.
murphy s next step
Murphy’s next step
  • A sympathetic Lockout.
  • Any worker who would not sign a declaration would be locked out.
  • This was a threat to all unions so they joined in.
  • 1st September Jacobs locked out 2000.
hard times
Hard Times
  • By October 20,000 out of work affecting 100,000.
  • Prices rose.
  • Soup kitchens at Liberty Hall.
  • Some schools provided breakfast for children.
  • A threat to all unions so KeirHardie came to Dublin and promised help.
the tuc
  • The British Trade Union Congress (TUC) sent ‘The Hare’ laden with food. In all they sent £100000 in food, clothes and cash between September and April 1914.
  • However the TUC were not syndicalist and did not approve of sympathetic action and wanted to end the lockout.
home rulers
Home RuleRs
  • Most Home Rulers saw Larkinism as a threat to their property and religion.
  • They did not like Murphy but very few helped.
the government
The government
  • Set up the AskwithEnquiry
  • A public enquiry where Larkin questioned Murphy
  • Concluded in October 1913 that sympathetic actions were wrong and so was the ‘declaration’ and proposed ‘conciliation committees’
  • The employers rejected this proposal.
the dublin kiddies scheme
The Dublin Kiddies Scheme
  • Wealthy feminist from London, Dora Montefiore, suggested that British working families take in strikers’ children.
  • Larkin ( a practising Catholic) agreed.
  • Archbishop William Walsh of Dublin denounced the idea.
  • Priests persuade parents. Against.
  • Mobs appeared at ferries and railway stations.
  • Middle class opposition to Larkin hardened.
  • Scheme abandoned.
employers fight back
Employers fight back
  • Started using petrol lorries rather than carts. 3 or 4 fewer men needed. These jobs gone forever.
  • ‘Free labourers’ (non union) employed. ‘Scabs’ or ‘blacklegs’ often beaten up. One was killed. Some went back to work rather than lose their jobs for good.
  • Murphy asked the ‘Shipping Federation’ for help. They supplied special ships to house free labourers who would break the Dockers. It also donated £10000 to struggling employers.
connolly and larkin respond
Connolly and Larkin respond
  • Connolly closed the port.
  • He and Larkin appealed to British trade unionists not to handle Irish goods.
  • TUC against sympathetic strikes.
  • Larkin toured Britain abusing TUC leaders.
  • This annoyed trade unionists in England, who had done a lot to help. Support from GB ceased.
the strike and lockout ends
The Strike and Lockout Ends
  • By January it was clear who was going to win.
  • 2000 never got their jobs back.
  • By April it was over.
  • No pay rise and most had to leave the ITGWU
  • Larkin left for the USA.
  • Connolly and his Irish Citizen Army joined the IRB.
  • Murphy was hated and never again would anyone treat unions in that way.
  • The right of workers to organise was not challenged seriously after this