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
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Recent episodes

A Day in the Life of a Right to Work Ballot Activist and Missouri Legislative Post Mortem May 24, 2018 | 6:00 pm

We’ll look at Missouri lawmakers’ relentless attempts to assassinate our labor rights and our battle to save them. Representative Judy Morgan will detail the assaults in the legislative session. Then, we’ll discuss the campaign to revive them by repealing last year’s right to work law.

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Getting Around Town: Street Cars, Buses, and Street Names
May 17, 2018 | 6:00 pm

We look at upcoming changes in how people in Kansas City get around. What's the latest on naming something after Martin Luther King? What is bus rapid transit? Will streetcar expansion be good for Westport?

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Workers’ Revival Festival – A Preview
May 10, 2018 | 6:00 pm

We'll ask the organizers of the Inaugural Workers Revival how the fest came to be and what role music can play in rebuilding the labor movement. We'll also play songs from several of the bands performing.

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Where Unemployment Isn’t Low and Gerald Horne on the Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy and Capitalism in Our Colonial Past
May 3, 2018 | 6:00 pm

We’ll talk with Jacqueline Midkiff from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Then, in his latest book, Gerald Horne argues that we can’t understand race and class in America unless we go back to our colonial past where black and white were invented.

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Choke Points; Logistics Workers Disrupting the Global Supply Chain and Goddess of Anarchy; The Life and Times of Lucy Parsons, American Radical
April 26, 2018 | 6:00 pm

We hear about an amazing labor hero from the past from author Jacqueline Jones, talking about her book Goddess of Anarchy -- The Life and Times of Lucy Parsons, American Radical. Then, the Missouri Legislative Session is nearing its end, but with high drama. Will they impeach the Governor? How much anti-labor legislation can they squeeze out? We’ll get an update from Rep. Judy Morgan.

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Highlights from Labor Notes and Bill Fletcher on How to Beat Right to Work
April 19, 2018 | 6:00 pm

The Heartland Labor Forum is a weekly show about working people, labor unions, our rights, the economy and the contributions we make. Send us feedback to [email protected]

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Comp Time or Overtime Pay? And What’s Up with the Airport Deal?
April 12, 2018 | 6:00 pm

We’ll ask if the new airport is ready for lift off after it’s bumpy start. What are the challenges, obstacles and opportunities that come with such a complicated and expensive project, from finance to construction? Then, Republicans are again trying to pass comp time in place of overtime pay. So if they don’t have to pay you, will employers actually let you take the time off when you want?

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Lives on the Line Story Slam
April 5, 2018 | 6:00 pm

Don’t miss a very special Heartland Labor Forum this week called “Lives on the Line – Stories of Survival, Grit and Determination” as told by low wage workers about their lives. Excerpts of this co-production of Standup KC and the Heartland Center for Jobs and Freedom will air Thursday at 6pm, rebroadcast Friday at 5am.

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The Unions Speak Out on the Harley Shutdown and NCAA Players: Workers, Students or Slaves?
March 29, 2018 | 6:00 pm

When Harley Davidson announced the shutdown of its Kansas City plant, they blamed declining motorcycle sales. Is that it? And, we’ll ask sports historian Chuck Ross if athletes are getting a fair shake or was LeBron James right when he called it a “corrupt system?”

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General Gym and Major Math: Teachers with Guns
March 22, 2018 | 6:00 pm

We’ll ask a panel of teachers from the Kansas City area what they think about guns in schools and other measures aimed at stopping the mayhem.

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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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