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

Prop A: How We Defeated Right to Work and Now What? September 20, 2018 | 6:00 pm

Last month, Missouri labor and its allies shocked the nation with a 2-1 vote on Proposition A, repealing the right to work law passed by the legislature. How did they do it, and what lessons does this victory teach us?

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BlackKKlansman: HLF Looks Under the Hood and The Killing of DST
September 13, 2018 | 6:00 pm

Have you seen the movie BlacKKKlansman, about a black police officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan forty years ago? We’ll take a look under the hood, talk about the true story and get reactions from viewers. Then: this year over a thousand workers in downtown KC were suddenly laid off thanks to corporate restructuring at DST. Why this is happening?

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Is the Sharing Economy for the Byrds? and Street Fight Radio-WCRS
September 6, 2018 | 6:00 pm

Cities around the country are befuddled by what to do with a flood of electronic scooters in the streets. Are they safe? Do they create good jobs? Then: there’s been a proliferation of pro-labor leftist podcasts changing the media landscape. Will the revolution be podcasted?

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The Attack on Public Employee Unions and How They’re Resisting
August 30, 2018 | 6:00 pm

How are unions facing the challenge of open shop in the public sector? We'll air voices of resistance from the American Federation of Teachers national convention and others.

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Voter Suppression of Women and Bernie’s ‘Our Revolution’
August 23, 2018 | 6:00 pm

We’re celebrating Women’s Equality Week on the Heartland Labor Forum with an interview with National Organization for Women’s president Toni Van Pelt. We’ll ask her about how the ongoing conspiracy to suppress our right to vote particularly impacts women. Then, we’re reading Bernie Sanders’ new book on Our Revolution and talking to Jeff Weaver who was Bernie’s campaign manager and closest political adviser about this historic movement.

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Trump’s Federal Remix: A New Department of Child Labor and a Private Postal Service?
August 16, 2018 | 6:00 pm

We’ll talk to union leaders from the departments of labor and education to learn about their shotgun wedding; then, we’ll ask a leader from the American Postal Workers Union how they plan to stop postal privatization.

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Downtown Shakedown and Bringing Football to Its Knees
August 9, 2018 | 6:00 pm

Professor Chuck Ross joins the show again as the football season nears. Will the anthem policy hold? Will Trump’s fight with black athletes boil over? Then, Kansas City, Missouri is giving more public money for the Three Light development. Like many cities across the country it subsidizes rent for the rich, while rent for the poor continues to rise. How do we stop this?

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Kicking the Koch Habit Conference Preview
August 2, 2018 | 6:00 pm

This week on The Heartland Labor Forum, we’ll preview KKFI’s upcoming conference Kicking the Koch Habit and Expanding Democracy for All. We’ll be joined by Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains; The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Attack on America and Jason Stanley, author of How Fascism Works; The Politics of US and Them. Both are speakers at the conference which will expose the right wing agenda and feature workshops on resistance to it. Thursdays at 6pm, rebroadcast Fridays at 5am.

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Bill Fletcher July 26, 2018 | 6:00 pm

We’ll replay an interview with Bill Fletcher who says, “Right to work has nothing to do with freedom of choice. It’s actually appealing to greed.”

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Heartland Labor Forum
July 26, 2018 | 6:00 pm

Missourians go to the polls August 7th to vote on two initiatives that are important to working people. Question 1 for Kansas City about rental property inspections and Question A for Missourians, also known as Right to work. We’ll replay an interview with Bill Fletcher who says, “Right to work has nothing to do with freedom of choice. It’s actually appealing to greed.”

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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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