Factories close in bid to beat ‘Larkinism’
The headquarters of the ITGWU. The Jacobs biscuit factory has closed, alleging interference by members of the Transport Union. Photo: National Library of Ireland, KE 202

Factories close in bid to beat ‘Larkinism’

Published: 2 September 1913

The opposition of Dublin employers to what they have termed ‘Larkinism’ has led to a serious escalation in Dublin’s labour troubles.

Yesterday, Messrs W. And R. Jacob and Co. Ltd closed down their manufacturing business owing, they say, to the failure of a number of their employees belonging to the Irish Transport Union to turn up for work without notice.

In a lengthy statement released by the well-known biscuit and cake manufacturers, criticism was levelled at Transport Union members for interfering in the work of the factory. The company, which has barred the wearing of a trade union badge during working hours, alleges that a number of men and boys belonging to the Irish Transport Union failed to turn up for work without any notice, the disorganising effect of which has caused them to ‘close down’ the manufacturing part of their operation for the present.

Only when the company has received sufficient applications from those pledging not to belong to the Irish Transport Union will they be ready to re-open, it has stated. ‘We have no objection to our workers belonging to a trade union conducted on ordinary lines’ the statement ran, ‘but we must refuse in future to give employment to any member of the Irish Transport Union, an organisation which has been conducted with so much intolerance, tyranny, and injustice.’ The statement was signed by Mr. George N. Jacob, the Chairman of the company.

The partial closure of Jacob's operation is not an isolated development.

Several large firms have also opted for drastic action in their efforts to crush the Transport Union. Also yesterday, Messrs Tedcastle, McCormick and Co, coal merchants, paid off 100 men. Messrs Wookey and Sons, Ltd, in Leixlip, closed their factory, while about 40 employees of the Dublin Port and Docks Board have been locked out over their refusal to load certain goods.

Meanwhile, The Irish Independent has reported the closure of the tramway depot in Inchicore; the decision came when employees ceased work in support of colleagues who had been dismissed for refusal to carry out repairs on cars.

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