Anti-UAW Union Buster Secretly Behind Hit Labor News Site

In the closing days of the UAW's election at VW in Chattanooga, workers are being bombarded with anti-union propaganda (Erin O. Smith/AP) has quickly become the “Drudge Report of Labor News”; the largest aggregator of news about unions on the web, boasting that it links to over 50 news articles a day and has posted links to more than 34,000 labor news articles since it started in 2023. 

Among labor movement activists, quickly amassed a large following mainly due to its daily posting of NLRB union election petitions and prolific aggregation of labor news. 

As a veteran labor reporter, I signed up for a subscription a few months ago to help prepare our labor newsletter. I thought it was a low-budget labor news aggregator; they even solicited crowdfunding from labor readers, as a site like my own Payday Report does. 

Now, I have discovered that is run by a notorious union buster named Peter List, who runs a multi-million dollar union-busting empire.  

A decade ago, I exposed that List had previously worked with Senator Bob Corker to help anti-union forces narrowly defeat the UAW in 2014. 

Now, the website uses its mass following to spread fake news about anti-the UAW in the run-up to the historic UAW election at Volkswagen in Chattanooga, which could confuse many local reporters and activists. 

On the surface, could appear similar to other popular lower-budget labor news sites and aggregators like Labor PressLabor TribuneNorthwest Labor PressOn LaborHow Things Work, and maybe even Payday Report.

However, mixed among links to mainstream labor news about real labor struggles and even links to left-wing websites about the UAW election in Chattanooga (including links to Payday Report), List has begun subtly mixing in anti-UAW articles that could confuse and trick many readers. 

Yesterday, List blasted out a link to his thousands of followers that reads, “Union Watchdog: UAW Leaders Bask In Puerto Rico As Members Get Laid Off.” 

The article, published simply under the byline “,” one of the few original articles on the website, links to a study put out by the anti-union “Center for Union Facts” about a conference held in Puerto Rico, where the UAW represents over 5,000 union members. 

(In 2019, I profiled how the group worked heavily against the UAW in Chattanooga during the second UAW election there). 

“At a time when Fain and UAW leaders are hoping to unionize foreign-owned automakers, with travel to exotic places like Puerto Rico, the new union leadership may run the risk of being viewed by its current members, as well as potential new members, as being only a slight departure from the prior leaders who spent millions of dollars of members’ dues on themselves,” wrote the post on 

Nowhere in the article is it mentioned that the UAW represents over 5,000 union members in Puerto Rico, where the conference was hosted. (UAW Region 9A even recently produced an online video highlighting Puerto Rico’s proud history.)

While the article may seem like one done by a low-budget union democracy activist concerned about union spending, Peter List has paid more than $1.5 million to freelance union busters in 2022 alone, according to federal Department of Labor records tracked by the website LaborLab. 

However, given all the links to legitimate news organizations on, a rank-and-file Volkswagen worker reading the article blasting the UAW’s conference in Puerto Rico would not know that a union buster secretly wrote the article or that the union that had 5,000 members in Puerto Rico. 

Given that List previously worked with union busters at Volkswagen in Chattanooga, including Senator Bob Corker, the article will likely be used to falsely accuse the UAW leadership of vacationing in Puerto Rico on the union’s dime. Volkswagen supervisors may even share in anti-union workers to make the UAW look corrupt. 

Payday Report discovered that List owns after noticing the site was registered to an address on the resort community of Pawley Island, South Carolina, an unusual place for a labor publication to be based. After some googling, I quickly discovered that the Pawley Island address was the same address routinely used by List’s various anti-union operations, including Kouture Kulture and Labor Union Report. 

Not only does List not disclose his name in posting on, but he also doesn’t disclose his extensive work with former Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), which successfully led efforts to defeat a UAW attempt at Volkswagen in 2014. 

In 2014, I broke the story for In These Times magazine about how List had worked with Corker to spread similar anti-UAW talking points among plant workers. 

Using documents obtained initially by NewsChannel 5 in Nashville, I traced emails from just before the union election, which showed Sen. Corker’s chief of staff and one of Gov. Haslam’s cabinet members were part of an email chain with both Chattanooga-based and national anti-union consultants about efforts to draw attention to three videos produced to fight the UAW at Volkswagen. 

The videos feature testimonials from workers at previous UAW plants claiming that the UAW destroyed Detroit and led to the closure of a former Volkswagen plant in Westmoreland County, PA, in 1988. 

(Full disclosure: both my mother and aunt worked at the plant and were active in the union efforts in the 1980s). 

During the height of the anti-union drive, in a February 10, 2014 email with the subject line ​”Video views so far today,” sent to many on Bob Corker’s staff, Peter List boasted of the anti-UAW videos’ web traffic. 

The email was addressed to, among others, Sen. Corker’s chief of staff, Tony Womack; Maury Nicely, the head of the local Chattanooga anti-union group Southern Momentum; Charleston, S.C.-based anti-union consultant Jim Gray; and former Volkswagen plant manager Don Jackson, whose role in campaigning against the UAW I had previously revealed. Also in the chain was Tim Spires, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Regional Manufacturers’ Association, which promoted anti-UAW events, and Ron Harr, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce.

The next day, Corker’s Chief of Staff, Todd Womack, forwarded List’s email to Tennessee economic and community development commissioner Bill Hagerty — a member of Gov. Haslam’s cabinet — and Hagerty’s chief of staff, Will Alexander (who was the son of former U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander) with a message saying ​”If you would, please don’t forward this version, but this is the video I mentioned. Thanks much, Todd.”

At the time, Peter List refused to answer questions about why he was emailing Senator Corker’s staff, telling me in 2014, ​”It seems you’ve fallen into the trap that people actually pay attention to what politicians say.”

Corker, whose anti-UAW talking points were prepared in part by List, was widely quoted on TV and in the local newspapers, helping to defeat the UAW’s first union drive at VW in Chattanooga by a vote total of 626 for the union to 712 against the union. 

With the UAW trying for its third time in a decade to win a union drive at VW in Chattanooga, List is using to plant anti-UAW stories composed by union busters into the local conversations. With links to legitimate news organizations and even left-wing ones, some workers may be tricked into believing their anti-UAW talking points, but union buster trackers like Bob Funk say workers should be weary. 

“Labor Union News is run by one of the most prolific union-busters in the country,” says LaborLab Executive Director Bob Funk. “Beyond promoting outdated economic policies that look like they were copy-pasted from the 1980s, you have to question the motives of someone who makes millions of dollars traveling the country telling underpaid and underappreciated working families they don’t need unions.” 

UPDATE: After publication, union buster Peter List emailed Payday Report union buster Peter List contacted Payday Report to say that he was misunderstood.

“We should talk sometime (we did once back in 2014, I think),” wrote List in an email to Payday Report. “I’m really not the bogeyman you make me out to be (but I do enjoy the ‘notorious’ moniker)”.

List also invited me to come onto his podcast. I declined the invitation and responded with a set of questions demanding to know who funded his work against the UAW.

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About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing nearly 2,000 stories from 46 states, Elk traveled with Lula from Sáo Bernando do Campos all the way to the Oval Office in the White House. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]