Date of Issue: 30 April 2009
The Irish Transport and General Workers' Union was founded by the legendary workers' activist 'Big' Jim Larkin. In the early 1900s, Larkin organized the transport and dock workers of Dublin. By the end of 1908 the ITGWU was born, attracting members from all over Ireland. The response of Dublin employers was the great 1913 Lockout against ITGWU members.
In 1914 Jim Larkin turned his attention to the labour movement in the United States. In his absence James Connolly, soon to be one of the leaders of the Easter Rising, took control. William O'Brien stepped in following Connolly's execution in 1916.
Larkin's return from the US in 1923 marked a period of great tension between him and O'Brien. Larkin led a breakaway movement, the Workers' Union of Ireland, in 1924.
It took until 1990, and the establishment of the Services Industrial Professional Technical Union - SIPTU - to bring the two great workers' movements together, under one banner a hundred again a century after the founding of the ITGWU. The stamp was designed by John Conway and shows a photograph of James Larkin addressing a crowd in Sackville Street, now O'Connell Street, used courtesy of RTÉ Stills Library. Over this is superimposed the 'Starry Plough' representing the Irish labour movement.