Akiko Gono

Akiko Gono was elected as President of the ITUC at its Fifth World Congress in Melbourne, Australia, November 2022.

Akiko joined the trade union movement in 1981 when she became a member of the Zensen Domei (the Japanese Federation of Textile, Garment, Chemical, Distributive, and Allied Industry Workers’ Unions).

She worked on a range of union activities, particularly in the field of international solidarity, and held elected positions at both regional and national levels, such as the Secretary of the TWARO (Textile Workers’ Asian Regional Organization), 1998-2012, and as the Director of the International Affairs Bureau of the Zensen Domei.

In 2016 she was elected as the Vice-President of the UA Zensen, which was formed by a union merger making it Japan’s largest industrial union. She was also General Secretary of the IndustriAll Japan Liaison Council.

Her work, particularly at the TWARO, gave her valuable opportunities to understand the difficulties faced by garment workers and trade unions in developing countries, which has become a fundamental part of her work.

Throughout her career in the international trade union movement, Akiko has worked on Global Framework Agreements between Japanese companies and Global Union Federations, as well as on dispute settlements concerning multinational companies.

She has been an International Representative of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (JTUC-RENGO) since 2022, and was elected as a Titular Member of the Workers’ Group of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Governing Body in June 2017 and re-elected in 2021.