Frank Werneke was born in 1967 at Schloss Holte near Bielefeld, Germany. In 1983, he began an apprenticeship as a packaging mechanic. He became Youth Representative in 1984, later being elected to the works council. In the following years, he took on voluntary positions in the print and paper industry union. From 1988 until 1993, Werneke sat on the North Rhine-Westphalia District Council of the union and its successor, IG Medien. In 1993, he began working full-time for the union, as Federal Secretary at the Central Council of IG Medien in Stuttgart. He was elected to the Executive Central Council of IG Medien in 1998, where he was responsible for union works activities, research and technology policy, youth work, professional training and branch work in publishing, printing and paper processing. When the umbrella union ver.di was founded in July 2001, Werneke was elected to its National Council, with responsibility for media, art and industry, media and cultural policy, union youth work and youth policy. He was elected Deputy Chairman of ver.di in November 2002.
Werneke is a member of the UNI World Board (Union Network International), the ZDF Television Board and the Supervisory Board of the Ruhrfestspiele.