Thursday at 6:00 pm

Heartland Labor Forum

logo for the Heartland Labor Forum show

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
No Episode found
Recent episodes

The Right to Protest: A Roundtable Discussion
October 12, 2017 | 6:00 pm

Remember when we couldn't bring signs to demonstrations because they could be used as weapons? Since Charlottesville, people are bringing weapons!! What happens to freedom of speech? Hear activists in a roundtable discussion.

Read More

Disabling Medicaid and The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Uniting Rail Workers
October 5, 2017 | 6:00 pm

ADAPT took hundreds to DC twice to break the back of Trumpcare. They succeeded. Hear about it this week on the Heartland Labor Forum. Then, isn’t it about time to bring all the railroad craft unions together to work on common issues?

Read More

Lane Windham, Knocking on Labor’s Door: Union Organizing in the 1970s and the Roots of the New Economic Divide and The NAACP Travel Advisory
September 28, 2017 | 6:00 pm

We talk to Lane Windham about labor’s decline, showing instead how employers united to manipulate weak labor law and quash a new wave of worker organizing. Then, we talk to Rod Chapel to find out why the Missouri NAACP asked their national organization to issue its first travel advisory warning.

Read More

Trump Attack on the Federal Workforce and Does It Pay to Go to College?
September 21, 2017 | 6:00 pm

When Trump cuts the federal budget, he’s cutting pensions for federal workers including postal employees. How bad are they, and what are federal worker unions doing to push back? Then, the average cost of college in Missouri is about $190,000. We’ll ask Germaine Moody, author of "50 Seeds of Greatness", if it still pays to go to college.

Read More

The Right to Work Signature Campaign and Greitens’ Dark Money
September 14, 2017 | 6:00 pm

We talk to Missouri Labor organizers Jessica Podhola and Brian Simmons about how they stopped enactment of Right to Work. Then we talk to the KC Star’s Jason Hancock about the dark money flowing to the anti-union crowd.

Read More

Shame on Carl Icahn and Preemption and the Minimum Wage
September 7, 2017 | 6:00 pm

As an investigation of Carl Icahn's conflict of interest proceeds, we’ll talk to former Machinist union leaders Herb Johnson and Keith Nelson about how Carl destroyed TWA. Then, we interview an expert from the Economic Policy Institute about how state legislatures are preempting cities from passing pro-worker laws.

Read More

The ACLU: Immigrant Rights
August 31, 2017 | 6:00 pm

“We exist for one reason and one reason only, and that is to defend the Constitution. To defend the Bill of Rights – the Rights and Freedoms that belong to every single person in this country under the Constitution.”

Read More

Women’s Equality Week: Why Can’t Women TV Anchors Reach Retirement on the Job? And What Does Roe v. Wade Have To Do with Women’s Equality?
August 24, 2017 | 6:00 pm

The Heartland Labor Forum celebrates Women’s Equality Week by asking why is it male TV anchors in Kansas City can age on air and retire while women get fired by age 50? Isn’t that illegal? Then, we’ll talk to a women’s clinic director and ask what Roe v. Wade has to do with equality for working women.

Read More

Will Robots Get Your Job? And Blackballed: Race, Politics, and Football
August 17, 2017 | 6:00 pm

Comedian and social commentator Lee Camp asks not if robots will get your job but who will benefit when they do. Then, with football kicking off this month, we’ll have historian Chuck Ross explain how matters of race and class are taking center field at colleges and the pros.

Read More

The Politics of Immigration and Invisible Hands: Voices from the Global Economy
August 10, 2017 | 6:00 pm

We’ll ask David Wilson, who has just updated The Politics of Immigration, “Do immigrants really take jobs from the rest of us and lower wages?” Then, we'll talk to Corinne Goria, whose new book Invisible Hands: Voices from the Global Economy introduces us to phone manufacturers in China, copper miners in Zambia, garment workers in Bangladesh, and farmers around the world.

Read More

Showing page 1 of 27 Next

Judy Ancel | Facebook

Producer of "Heartland Labor Forum"

Read More
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.

Read More