Causes Of The 1913 Lockout

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The 1913 Lockout is often seen as a clash between two influential men: James ‘Big Jim’ Larkin, founder and head of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union (ITGWU), and William Martin Murphy, one of the city’s most wealthy and powerful industrialists, and the main force behind the Dublin Employers Federation Ltd. Critically analyse whether this was the sole cause, or whether there were other reasons for the 1913 Lockout in Dublin. The Clash between James Larkin and William Martin Murphy was not the sole cause of the 1913 Lockout. This essay will outline other key reasons for conflict between workers and employers in 1913; the conditions of the tenements, poor working conditions and financial problems that families struggled due to low…show more content…
Strikes became more frequent in Britain throughout the opening decade of the century however towards the second decade strikes diminished significantly and seemed to settle. Dublin had not been entrapped in the frequent Labour unrest as seen in Britain. So much so, that in 1900 the Dublin chambers of commerce, with a degree of certainty, announced: ‘we are pleased to note the growing disposition of all classes to unite in promoting the best interest of our country.’ However, this harmony would ultimately face trouble and in 1913, the employee and the employer, with the Labour movement, would ignite a serious conflict. A conflict which became later known as the ‘Dublin Lock-out’. The discontentment within the working classes of 1913 Dublin was built upon valid reasoning. The tenements’ in Dublin were in an appalling condition fundamentally due to overcrowding and malnutrition of its inhabitants. In one instance, there was 835 people living in 15 houses in Henrietta Street 's Georgian tenements. Furthermore, the death rate of these people at the time was 27.6% per 1000 people. Thus, a death rate equal to that Calcutta, placed the severe conditions of the Tenements were amongst the worst slums in the…show more content…
Furthermore, children encountered measles and whooping cough. Rampant disease was undeniably became engrained in the inadequate conditions in which lower class families lived in within the city, and, the lack of nutrition in the young’s diet. Evidence of this can be seen in the fact that 20% (1,808) of all who died in the capital were children less than a year old. This made the infant mortality of children in the city was the lowest in Europe during this period. Sir Charles Cameron, the Medical Inspector for Dublin, said: ‘It is certain that infants perish from want of sufficient food.’ Indeed the aforementioned living conditions inevitably led to many other serious social problems. Alcohol would become an eminence part of working class lives as people sought an escape from the grimness of life within the tenements. The workers who would be heavy drinkers would repeatedly had little funds (if any) for the needs of their family. Especially those workers received the near uncivilised payment of wages within pubs which was in some areas popular. Jim Larkin
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