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

Peter Poschen: Decent Work, Green Jobs and the Sustainable Economy: Solutions for Climate Change and Sustainable Development and DACA Workers December 14, 2017 | 6:00 pm

We ask: what exactly is a "green job" and how do we move our economies and our workers into an environmentally sustainable world? Find out when we talk to author Peter Poschen about his book, Decent Work: Green Jobs and the Sustainable Economy. Then: Trump pulled the rug out from under immigrant youth. Will Congress pass the Dream Act or leave them to be deported?

Read More
Recent episodes

Emily Twarog: Politics of the Pantry: Housewives, Food and Consumer Activism in the 20th Century and Sarah Adler-Milstein & John M. Kline: Sewing Hope
December 7, 2017 | 6:00 pm

We talk to two authors about books on working class women.

Read More

A Conversation with Historian David Roediger on Race, Labor and Management
November 30, 2017 | 6:00 pm

We'll ask David Roediger what American management learned from slavery, how racial divisions affect worker solidarity, and what he thinks about KU letting guns on campus.

Read More

Heartland Labor Forum’s Award Winning Show about Harley and its Unions November 23, 2017 | 6:00 pm

We replay the show from 2016 which won first place in the International Labor Communications Association Labor Media contest. It’s about Harley-Davidson, the iconic motorcycle company which used to be famous for its cooperative labor relations.

Read More

Thomas Kochen: Shaping the Future of Work and Public Defenders Need a Bailout
November 16, 2017 | 6:00 pm

We talk to Thomas Kochen about his new book, Shaping the Future of Work, about the postwar social contract and if there is a new one on the horizon. Then, the Missouri Public Defenders are in crisis. They say they can’t handle the nearly 90,000 cases a year for the working or unemployed who can’t afford a lawyer. Do public defenders need a bailout?

Read More

Janus vs. AFSCME – The Threat to Public Sector Unions
November 9, 2017 | 6:00 pm

Most labor experts predict that the U.S. Supreme Court is about to deal a death blow to America’s public sector unions causing them to go bankrupt. The case is Janus versus AFSCME.

Read More

Uber’s New Pay to Drive Scheme and Janitors Speak Out
November 2, 2017 | 6:00 pm

Uber wants its drivers to pay to work on Halloween. Does this make it harder to get a ride home after a night out? Is it fair to the drivers? Then, we talk to janitors who are members of Service Employees Local 1 about what it’s like to sweep up after the local business class makes a mess.

Read More

Do Japanese Workers Have Rights? And Al Gore’s Inconvenient Sequel
October 26, 2017 | 6:00 pm

We ask about Japanese workers: Do they have unions? What are their rights?" How do they try to make a difference? Then, hear all about Former Vice President Al Gore's new film, "An Inconvenient Sequel".

Read More

The Great Job Creation Scam: Wisconsin’s New “FoxCon” and Subsidizing Robot Jobs
October 19, 2017 | 6:00 pm

We interview Greg Leroy of Good Jobs First about their new database of corporate tax giveaways and a clever accounting rule that could rein in abuses. We’ll talk about the KC Public Library, and we’ll ask if Wisconsin taxpayers are getting Foxconned with the promise of 13,000 jobs.

Read More

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

Showing page 1 of 28 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