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
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Recent episodes

The Presidential Frontrunners: Who Is a Friend of Labor? February 4, 2016 | 6:00 pm

We feature spokespeople and info about Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz and the Donald and we ask who’s a friend of labor? Special guests are Mark Dimondstein, President of the American Postal Workers Union for Bernie, and Nikki Budzinski, Labor Outreach Director for Hillary.

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An Interview with Visionary Organizer Jane McAlevey
January 28, 2016 | 6:00 pm

It's our second show on alt labor. That's alternative approaches to organizing and running unions. We'll spend the hour with Jane McAlevey, whose book, "Raising Expectations and Raising Hell", was controversial and a great memoir of her decade as an organizer and union leader for SEIU.

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Harold Gibbons and Ernest Calloway: Fighting for Total Person Unionism and Enemies in Blue
January 21, 2016 | 6:00 pm

In the 1950’s St. Louis labor leaders Harold Gibbons and Ernest Calloway championed a new kind of labor movement embracing workers as “total persons” fighting for justice as workers and citizens. The alliance of this interracial duo of Teamsters has profound relevance for today. We’ll talk to Robert Bussel about his new book on them. Then how does community policing work in Kansas City?

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Vendetta: Bobby Kennedy vs Jimmy Hoffa and Labor Responses to COP21
January 14, 2016 | 6:00 pm

It was a take-no-prisoners kind of a fight. That’s the battle between US Attorney General Bobby Kennedy and Teamster President Jimmy Hoffa which filled the headlines and the courtrooms in the 1960s. We interview James Neff about his new book, "Vendetta". Then we take a look at labor responses to the COP 21 climate meeting in Paris late last year.

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Junior Rat-race: the Problem of Over-testing and Hippy Scabs Are Still Scabs
January 7, 2016 | 6:00 pm

We’ll talk about over-testing and the harm it does to kids, teachers and education. Then, we’ll find out about a strike in Minnesota where union supporters say, “Hippy Scabs Are Still Scabs.”

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The Rise Of The “Sharing Economy” (ENCORE) & Top Labor Stories of 2015
December 31, 2015 | 6:00 pm

New Year's Eve is one of the biggest cab hailing nights of the year, so it's a good time to revisit one of the biggest labor stories of the year, the rise of the so-called "sharing economy" and booming start-ups like Uber with its part-time jobs and fewer benefits for workers. Then, we do a review of the year's top labor news with Mark Gruenberg.

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Race to Nowhere: Reforming K-12 and A Holiday Wish: No War but the Class War
December 24, 2015 | 6:00 pm

Two union maids will bring you our annual Peace on Earth show. It’s not your typical peace on earth show though. It’s called A Holiday Wish For You: No War but the Class War.

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Welcome to Hotel TIF and Richard Wolff: Co-ops Work
December 17, 2015 | 6:00 pm

We’ll find out why citizens are once again mad about TIF. Then we ask economist Richard Wolff who thinks worker co-ops are an answer to our dehumanized workplaces how co-ops work.

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David Cay Johnston: In-Shoring Prosperity and Why Are Canadian Unions Stronger?
December 10, 2015 | 6:00 pm

We interview David Cay Johnston about offshore tax loopholes, record breaking inequality, out of control white collar crime, and lots more fun stuff that the corporate media ignores. Then, Are Canadian unions stronger than unions in the U.S.? Barry Eidlin, labor scholar will explain how they were able to hold their own during economic crises of recent decades.

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Rock-a-bye Baby The Wages Is Crazy and Why Are Kansas Teachers Fleeing?
December 3, 2015 | 6:00 pm

This week on the Heartland Labor Forum, we explore the conditions for child care workers and for Kansas teachers. Tune in to "Rock-a-bye Baby The Wages Is Crazy"; and then we ask, why are Kansas teachers fleeing? We’ll talk to a recent Kansas teacher of the year who left to teach in another state. Thursday at 6pm, rebroadcast Friday at 5am.

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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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