Rob Johnston

Rob Johnston is the assistant general secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation - a global union federation of 677 trade unions representing 19.7 million workers in 149 countries in the seafaring, port, road, rail, tourism and aviation sectors.

Rob Johnston
Assistant General Secretary of the International Transport Workers' Federation
Assumed office
Personal details
OccupationUnion Leader

International Transport Workers' FederationEdit

Johnston joined the ITF in 2016 as the Assistant General Secretary. Since joining the ITF he has worked closely with the General Secretary Stephen Cotton to deliver an internal change program focused on membership delivery. As Assistant General Secretary, Johnston is helping to lead change for the ITF to become a campaign-oriented organisation, which has increased focus on cross-sector and cross-departmental coordination, in particular integration of women and youth into all areas of ITF work.

He began work at the age of 16, and soon began what is now a lifelong involvement in, and commitment to, trade unionism. Johnston's life as a full-time union official has included time as a Research and Policy Officer for Amicus the Union, which is now Unite, in the UK. At Amicus, Rob focused on the aerospace sector, helping secure funding for major aerospace projects and acting as an expert on UK Government's Department of Trade & Industry Aerospace Innovation and Growth team, amongst other things. Between 2004 and 2009, Rob served as Director - Steel, Shipbuilding and Occupational Health & Safety and International Metalworkers Federation, which is now IndustriALL, in Geneva. He then served as an Executive Director at IndustriALL between 2009 and 2012, before becoming the global union's Executive Director - Industrial and TNC Policies, based in Sydney, serving in that role until 2013. Johnston returned to the UK in 2013 to work as Community's Industrial Strategy Director, which he did up to his appointment to the ITF. Rob became ITF assistant general secretary in 2016.

As an International industrial relations expert, he has negotiated a number of global framework agreements including the ArcelorMittal Global Agreement on Health and Safety on which he also acted as the Co-Chair. He also served as the TUAC Chair on the Steel and Shipbuilding Committee of the Organisation Economic Cooperation Development (OECD) 2005–2012.

As part of Rob's 5-year plan, he is committed to raising the social narrative for transport workers as more companies adopt new technologies into the workplace


  1. "ITF welcomes new assistant general secretary - International Transport Workers' Federation". Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  2. " - Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill Committee". Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  3. "#ITFfutureofwork - What is the ITF's position in regards to automation and workers' rights?". YouTube. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  4. "#ITFfutureofwork- What is the Unions' position on automation?". YouTube. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  5. "#ITFfutureofwork - What sort of regulatory bodies should unions be influencing?". YouTube. Retrieved 2017-11-07.

External linksEdit

  1. International Transport Workers' Federation
  2. ITF Seafarers Website
  3. ITF Dockers and Seafarers Website
  4. Seafarers Trust Website