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

Mayoral Candidate Steve Miller & Worker Co-ops February 14, 2019 | 6:00 pm

We’ll have another candidate for Mayor: Steve Miller, a construction lawyer who says it’s all about connections like transportation, infrastructure and neighborhoods. Then, unions are intended to level the playing field with the boss, but what if workers become their own bosses?

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Medea Benjamin on Iran & Mayoral Forum III with Candidates on Economic Justice Issues February 7, 2019 | 6:00 pm

Medea Benjamin is speaking February 16th for KKFI, we’ll give you a preview and ask her why the U.S. has made Iran one of its primary antagonists, and also, why now Venezuela? Then, we continue our interviews with Kansas City Mayoral candidates with Jolie Justus.

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New Threats and Promises from Missouri and Kansas Legislatures
January 31, 2019 | 6:00 pm

Will Missouri continue with unpopular bills that the people will overrule? Will Kansas expand Medicaid or reinstate prevailing wage? We’ll talk to Missouri Rep. Judy Morgan and Kansas Rep. Tom Burroughs.

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Labor in Cuba and Trump’s Screw Job on Workers
January 24, 2019 | 6:00 pm

Find out more about Cuban workers this week. Also, Donald Trump is eviscerating policies and legislation that favor working people. We’ll talk to journalist Steven Hill to find out how far labor has been set back by these efforts.

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Mayoral Forum II with Candidates on Economic Justice Issues
January 17, 2019 | 6:00 pm

We’ll have another in our series of talks with candidates for Mayor of Kansas City. We want to ask each of them their plan to make KC a city that works for its working people, where they can find employment, afford to live, and have real community. We’ll also ask about TIF and childcare.

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William Kennedy’s Ink Truck and What Do LA Teachers Want?
January 10, 2019 | 6:00 pm

We’ll hear about a labor classic from 1969, The Ink Truck, an award-winning first novel by William Kennedy which recounts the doomed efforts of Bailey, a former newspaper columnist who leads four other workers in a strike against their employer, a newspaper in a medium-sized American city. Then, we’ll look at a strike that starts this week by United Teachers of Los Angeles

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Will the New NAFTA Stop Oreo–Mexico from Sickening Its Workers?
January 3, 2019 | 6:00 pm

Trump claims his new NAFTA will stop companies from moving to Mexico. This week, we’ll look at what companies like Oreo Cookies gained from their move from Chicago to Monterrey and ask why the AFL-CIO says the new NAFTA doesn’t fix the old NAFTA’s problems.

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Dana Frank: The Long Honduran Night and Barry Eidlin, Labor and the Class Idea in the US and Canada
December 27, 2018 | 6:00 pm

Amid all the talk of walls and caravans, few ask why families are fleeing Honduras. This week, we talk to labor historian Dana Frank on her new book: The Long Honduran Night. Then, Barry Eidlin’s new book Labor and the Class Idea in the US and Canada asks why US unions are weaker than Canadian unions.

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Community Schools
December 20, 2018 | 6:00 pm

An answer to budget-strapped school districts? Listen to education activists talk about public schools called community schools this week on the Heartland Labor Forum.

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Mayoral Forum I with Candidates on Economic Justice Issues
December 13, 2018 | 6:00 pm

Last week, politicians were able to officially file their campaigns for mayor. This week on the Heartland Labor Forum, we dive right in to discuss with candidates the most pressing issues for working people in Kansas City today.

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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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