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

Gordon Lafer: The 1% Solution and Builidng the Kansas City Skyline June 22, 2017 | 6:00 pm

We’ll interview Gordon Lafer about his new book which asks what elites are doing with all their new-found power and review his book, The One Percent Solution: How Corporations Are Remaking America One State at a Time. Then, we’ll take a look at Kansas City’s urban design from the JC Nichols fountain to the Power and Light district: big structures can define a city.

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Detroit: Are the Engines Restarting?
June 15, 2017 | 6:00 pm

We start with a history tour of Detroit labor from its heyday in auto and the bloody struggle to organize, and in music with the union that represented the Motown Sound. Then, we’ll hear from Detroit labor and community activists today about emergency managers, tax incentives and what kind of Detroit they are rebuilding.

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EBSA-Employee Benefits Security Administration and Trumping the Disabled
June 8, 2017 | 6:00 pm

Who is protecting our pensions and what’s fiduciary responsibility, anyway? We’ll find out when we talk to the Employee Benefits Security Administration. Then, the Disabilities Community will not let 40 years of progress be destroyed. That’s why disability rights activists went to Washington, D.C. in May to trump the Trump before Trump trumps the Disabled.

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New York College for Some and How Anti-Hunger Programs Are Constrained by Their Funders
June 1, 2017 | 6:00 pm

Should college be affordable for All? We'll have an in-depth analysis of two high-profile state and federal initiatives to make college tuition-free. Then, Andy Fisher’s new book on the Hunger Industrial Complex uncovers how the partnership between big corporations and food banks perpetuates hunger, and he shows why charity is what we do when there’s no justice.

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May Day: The Original Labor Day
May 25, 2017 | 6:00 pm

No one was surprised by the protests of workers and immigrants in Kansas City and St. Louis, but there was even one in Kirksville called the Unified Mayday. It brought together immigrant workers from the Smithfield pork plant in Milan and Kirksville citizens and students.

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Hate Has No Home Here
May 18, 2017 | 6:00 pm

We’ll cover reaction to the Olathe shooting at the Solidarity In Community meeting there against anti-immigrant terrorism and to honor the Indian engineer who died and the men who were shot. Then, we’ll speak to Kansas Citians from the Northland who responded in solidarity to the Olathe shootings.

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WYCO: Pick Your Zipcode to Live Longer and Reconstructing the Quindaro Ruins
May 12, 2017 | 6:00 pm

Does your zip code determine how long you’ll live? Find out about a new health report on Wyandotte County. Then, some local history: Before it was KCK, there was a diverse community of Indians, White settlers and escaped slaves on the banks of the Missouri River. Is there a plan for reconstructing Quindaro?

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Why is Donald Trump President?
May 4, 2017 | 6:00 pm

Why Is Donald Trump President? What did union members have to do with him winning the electoral college? This week on the Heartland Labor Forum three labor educators from Michigan, Iowa and Pennsylvania analyze the union vote.

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Why Boycott Driscolls & An Economy Without Immigrants
April 27, 2017 | 6:00 pm

Why Boycott Driscolls & An Economy Without Immigrants. It’s strawberry season, but before you bake that pie, look for the Driscoll label and don’t. There’s a boycott by workers in Mexico who are paid $6-12 a day. Find out more on The Heartland Labor Forum. Then, May Day is being forecast as a Day without immigrants. We’ll look at how important immigrants are to our local economy.

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Why Are So Many Millennials Socialists? And Refinery Town
April 20, 2017 | 6:00 pm

Ben Tulchin, Bernie Sanders' pollster, and head of Tulchin Research, will discuss whether millennials who voted progressive in 2016 will continue to do so as they get older. Then, it’s the little city that could: What happened when Richmond, California took on Chevron in a battle for control of the city?

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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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