Thursday at 6:00 pm

Heartland Labor Forum

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The Heartland Labor Forum is Kansas City’s only program about the workplace. It’s radio that talks back to the boss! Whether you’re a union member or your workplace isn’t organized, Heartland Labor Forum (HLF) has stories for you, guaranteed to inspire, educate, or enrage you. HLF is produced by a diverse group of working people and coordinated by The UMKC’s Labor Studies Program. We have been agitating for the rights of working people on the KKFI airwaves since 1989.

Find out about labor struggles and strikes, organizing in Kansas City, global sweatshops, and how the economy is working from the point of view of working people. Listen to our monthly features: Know Your Rights, Safety First, Economics Unmasked, and Washington Window on Workers. Heartland Labor Forum has won the International Labor Communications Association first prize for radio several times. Other media have plenty of business news of, by, and for the 1%; HLF is for the rest of us.

Find our schedule of upcoming shows and our archive at

  • Judy Ancel – Directs the labor studies program at UMKC and has been educating, agitating and organizing for justice for working people since the 1970s. She coordinates the show.
  • Janice Brill – taught public school near St. Louis for many years. She’s now retired and spends her time raising her grandchildren and raising hell along with  Jobs with Justice. She produced a monthly series on Heartland Labor Forum called Don’t Be Ladylike about women in the past who did the same.
  • Kim Clause She makes AFT Local 691 run smoothly. Loves to read and interview authors.
  • Hester Duisik has been downsized, retrained and re-employed from more jobs than all of us put together. She’s an ardent member of CWA, the Communications Workers and was one of the first women techs that AT&T hired in the 1970s.
  • Ariana Eakle IBEW Local 124 apprentice and gifted singer. Also does our feature: Remember Our Struggle.
  • Shicagolyn Hamms Politics is her passion. She chairs the KKFI Marketing Committee and is a board member.
  • Christina Hendricks Young inner-city social studies teacher and union activist.
  • Cris Mann teaches special education in the Kansas City Missouri school district. She dreams of the day when the Pentagon budget will be redirected to our schools and teachers. She’s a member of Kansas City Federation of Teachers
  • Molly Madden – is a retired city bus driver and tireless agitator for justice. Having worked in factories, taught school and learned radio production, she’s living proof that a working person’s life can span many careers.
  • Shawn Saving makes maps for the State of Kansas in his day job and plays in a rock band by night. When he’s not fixing up his house, he’s producing radio.
  • Michael Savwoir retired from UPS after several years where he was a member of Teamsters Local 41 and a proud dissident in Teamsters for a Democratic Union.
  • Tino Scalici He works the line at Ford, writes books and makes trouble.
  • Lon Swearingen Retired teacher and member of AFT Local 691. Disability rights activist
  • Jake White Budding librarian with a passion for books and research. He keeps the ideas flowing
  • Jen Zaman Dream of an engineer. She makes us sound good.

Feature Editors

  • Mary Erio hosts the monthly Safety First feature warning us of hazards at work and informing us how to work safer. She is an industrial hygienist so she knows what she’s talking about.
  • Angie Williams

    Angie Williams

    Angie Williams does our “Know Your Rights” segment.  She is an attorney in Kansas City focusing on complex family immigration and removal defense and criminal defense.  She is an activist for immigrant rights and immigration reform. Angie has written extensively on the subject as well as testified against unconstitutional state based immigration laws in both the Kansas and Missouri Legislature.

  • Mark Gruenberg is on once a month with Washington Window on Workers. He is a full-time labor journalist with PAI-Press Associates Inc. which provides news to unions and labor publications.
Upcoming episodes
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Recent episodes

Why Boycott Driscolls & An Economy Without Immigrants
April 27, 2017 | 6:00 pm

Why Boycott Driscolls & An Economy Without Immigrants. It’s strawberry season, but before you bake that pie, look for the Driscoll label and don’t. There’s a boycott by workers in Mexico who are paid $6-12 a day. Find out more on The Heartland Labor Forum. Then, May Day is being forecast as a Day without immigrants. We’ll look at how important immigrants are to our local economy.

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Why Are So Many Millennials Socialists? And Refinery Town
April 20, 2017 | 6:00 pm

Ben Tulchin, Bernie Sanders' pollster, and head of Tulchin Research, will discuss whether millennials who voted progressive in 2016 will continue to do so as they get older. Then, it’s the little city that could: What happened when Richmond, California took on Chevron in a battle for control of the city?

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Tradeswomen Building Bridges to India and Kids March for One Race-Human Race
April 13, 2017 | 6:00 pm

Last January, a delegation of American tradeswomen traveled to India to build bridges and fight for the rights of women in the construction workforce both there and here. Then, what’s Trump’s attack on Syria got to do with working people?

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The Challenge Manufacturing Strike Victory and From Male to Female: How One Engineer Learned About Discrimination
April 6, 2017 | 6:00 pm

Last month, a diverse group of workers at Challenge Manufacturing near the airport showed Kansas City that even in the era of Trump, you can win a strike. Then, from male to female: how one engineer found out about discrimination once she lost her male privilege.

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Chow Chop Suey: Food & the Chinese American Experience and The One-Eighth-Cent Sales Tax: Pro and Con
March 30, 2017 | 6:00 pm

In her new book Chow Chop Suey, food historian Anne Mendelson traces the history of the Chinese in America through food in Chinese restaurants. It’s a story of how xenophobia stunted the enrichment of both our society and cuisine. Then, going to the polls on April 4th? Confused about the 1/8 cent sales tax? Listen to both sides and decide for yourself.

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Surviving and Fighting Right to Work
March 23, 2017 | 6:00 pm

Unless Missouri unions develop a way to block it, Missouri will become the 28th right to work state on August 28th. How can our unions – and workers - survive it? Or is there a strategy to reverse it?

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The Jeff City Firing Squad Aims at Prevailing Wage Workers & Public Employees
March 16, 2017 | 6:00 pm

Republicans in Jefferson City are gunning for unions. Now that right-to-work has passed, they’re going after the standard of living of construction workers and the rights to representation of public employees.

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Wentzville School Bus Drivers Organize and Federal Workers in the Cross Hairs (Again)
March 9, 2017 | 6:00 pm

We talk to AFT union leader Scott Ciafullo about some of the challenges facing bus drivers, teachers, and their unions in Missouri. Then, President Trump may want to boost private sector jobs, but he’s threatening to cut thousands of federal jobs, cut retiree benefits and has said federal workers are overpaid. We’ll get the other side from the National Active and Retired Federal Employees.

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Repeal and Replace the ACA: One Giant Death Panel?
March 2, 2017 | 6:00 pm

“And then this magical amazing policy came around that we started talking about. We started talking about the ACA, where they decided that, 'hey, maybe being born is not something you should be punished for.'” That’s one of the witnesses who gave compelling testimony on why we need to save the Affordable Care Act.

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Gunpowder Girls of the Civil War and Fannie Never Flinched
February 23, 2017 | 6:00 pm

We bring you the hidden history of women workers in the 1800s. In Gunpowder Girls of the Civil War, poor immigrant girls and widows – made bullets and literally went up in smoke because of industrial carelessness at three major arsenals. Then, Fannie Sellens organized during the Gilded Age and founded key union locals in Missouri during her life long fight for justice. Her legacy lives on thanks to a new children's book.

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Judy Ancel | Facebook

Producer of "Heartland Labor Forum"

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Heartland Labor Forum Programmers | Email me | Facebook

The Heartland Labor Forum is produced by a group of volunteers who are labor and community activists who believe in workplace democracy, workers rights, and economic justice. We're the only show in Kansas City that focuses on working people: who is fighting on their side and who is not, what they need to know about the economy. We seek to educate and inspire.

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