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.
  • Frank Bradley, Jr. – Is a local artist and composer who thinks artists should be respected as the working people that they are.
  • 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.
  • Conrad Creitz

    Conrad Creitz

    Conrad Creitz is a Vietnam vet, passionately anti-war and a member of Veterans For Peace and Vietnam Veterans Against the War. He thinks the Pentagon budget needs to be cut in half, and that money should be spent on repairing our own country and putting the working people back to work at union scale wages. He is also interested in Veterans programs that help his fellow veterans.

  • Oliver Dreher is our resident Luddite and thinks technology is the ruination of the working stiff. He also just got an MA in economics from UMKC.
  • 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.
  • Sayra Gordillo organizes for Missouri Jobs with Justice, thinks immigrants deserve to have rights and dignity at work, and is the youngest sprout in the current crop of radio trouble makers.
  • 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.
  • Susan Sanders spent years as a psychotherapist until she decided to trade in the couch and put her lovely Tennessee drawl on the air. At Heartland Labor Forum she hosts the Pioneer Women series.
  • John Todd has his own music show, but at Heartland Labor Forum he’s our engineer and makes us sound good despite all the craziness inherent in a group show.
  • 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

It’s JOE HILL’S 100 Years with John McCutcheon November 26, 2015 | 6:00 pm

It may be a hundred years since Utah executed labor organizer and songwriter Joe Hill on trumped up charges, but Joe’s songs still inspire and have gone on to organize countless workers.

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Recent episodes

Community Health Workers – Good Deal for Workers and Patients
November 19, 2015 | 6:00 pm

A community health worker is a bridge between traditionally underserved populations and needed health information, support and care, as well as important basic and social services.

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Sheet Metal Workers and Sierra Club Team Up to Demand Missouri Move toward Energy Efficiency and What’s Up with Auto Bargaining?
November 12, 2015 | 6:00 pm

"Missourians are paying too much on our monthly energy bills. We're putting additional air pollution in the air. We have high unemployment in the construction sector," says Sierra Club’s John Hickey. He and Steve Sneed from Sheetmetal Workers Local 36 want us to invest more in energy efficiency, and What’s Up with Auto Bargaining? - Will 2-tier really be phased out?

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The Uber Economy; A Raw Deal and What’s in a Name? Profiling in Hiring
November 5, 2015 | 6:00 pm

We interview Steven Hill about his new book "Raw Deal: How the 'Uber Economy' and Runaway Capitalism Are Screwing American Workers". Then, Adia Wingfield tells us how employers screen out minorities by names and resumes.

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Daddy, What’s the Middle Class
October 29, 2015 | 6:00 pm

This week on the Heartland Labor Forum we talk to labor radio producer Rick Smith about his new book Daddy, What’s the Middle Class? It’s about a cross country trip with kids to find out who built America. Then we take a trip with a worker into Amazon – the company, not the jungle - to find out if the jobs are sustainable.

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Ai-Jen Poo: Age of Dignity and Familias Unidas Take on Driscoll
October 22, 2015 | 6:00 pm

Ai-Jen Poo, leader of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, has a new book: The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America. We’ll talk to her this week. Then, we'll find out about the boycott of Driscolls berries with Familias Unidas.

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Where Do the Candidates Stand on Immigration? And Pioneer Women
October 15, 2015 | 6:00 pm

Some want to kick them out; others want to welcome them in: what are the candidates’ positions on immigration? And on Pioneer Women, we interview Cindy Longaker, woman of steel and organizer.

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When Should Unions Endorse?
October 8, 2015 | 6:00 pm

We ask the question: why unions endorse now? Should the members be polled? And which candidate represents workers’ interests?

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Our Walmart Relaunch, & Should Police Unions Be in the House of Labor?
October 1, 2015 | 6:00 pm

Our Walmart is relaunching for the holiday season. Find out how this union buster could be affected; then, some union members are asking: Should police unions be in the House of Labor?

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Jessica Neuwirth: Bring Back the ERA and Is Charter Partners Just Sneaky Privatization?
September 24, 2015 | 6:00 pm

Equality Now’s Jessica Neuwirth says it’s time to bring back the ERA. Find out why this week. Also, why is the Kansas City School Board sponsoring a charter school? Is this just sneaky privatization?

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Off the Rails: The Prosecution of Tom Harding, Engineer and Fight for $15 Goes to Brazil September 17, 2015 | 6:00 pm

We look at the disaster in Quebec and the prosecution of Tom Harding, engineer. Then guess who one of Brazil’s biggest labor law violators is? Hint: it rhymes with Ronald.

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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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Judy Ancel | Facebook

Producer of "Heartland Labor Forum"

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