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.
  • Frank Bradley, Jr. – Is a local artist and composer who thinks artists should be respected as the working people that they are.
  • 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.
  • Conrad Creitz

    Conrad Creitz

    Conrad Creitz is a Vietnam vet, passionately anti-war and a member of Veterans For Peace and Vietnam Veterans Against the War. He thinks the Pentagon budget needs to be cut in half, and that money should be spent on repairing our own country and putting the working people back to work at union scale wages. He is also interested in Veterans programs that help his fellow veterans.

  • Oliver Dreher is our resident Luddite and thinks technology is the ruination of the working stiff. He also just got an MA in economics from UMKC.
  • 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.
  • Sayra Gordillo organizes for Missouri Jobs with Justice, thinks immigrants deserve to have rights and dignity at work, and is the youngest sprout in the current crop of radio trouble makers.
  • 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.
  • Susan Sanders spent years as a psychotherapist until she decided to trade in the couch and put her lovely Tennessee drawl on the air. At Heartland Labor Forum she hosts the Pioneer Women series.
  • John Todd has his own music show, but at Heartland Labor Forum he’s our engineer and makes us sound good despite all the craziness inherent in a group show.
  • 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

All the Single Working Ladies and BRIDJ to Gig or a Good Union Job? December 1, 2016 | 6:00 pm

We ask how money, work, marriage and divorce mix these days. Then, you’ve probably seen the shiny new BRIDJ vans around town. They’ve got union drivers and we’ll talk to ATU President JP Walker about the effects for drivers of this new Uber-like public transport service.

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The New Overtime Rules and Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind
November 24, 2016 | 6:00 pm

Are you exempt from overtime pay on your job? New rules going into effect December 1st may entitle you to extra pay if you work more than forty hours in a week. This week, we explain the new rule. Then, what better way is there to build community and continue our legacy than to include single parents and our children with us on the front lines?

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Student Debt: The New Indentured Servitude
November 17, 2016 | 6:00 pm

Are you looking at a lifetime of debt slavery to pay off your college education? Economist Hossein Bahmaie and researcher Allyson Fredericksen explore the explosion of student debt and its implications for millennials.

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Teachers and Administrators Defend the KCMO Schools
November 10, 2016 | 6:00 pm

Our schools are under attack. Recently the Kansas City Call asked whether the KCMO School District, with its low test scores, should even have partial accreditation. This week on the Heartland Labor Forum, KCMO Public School Teachers push back.

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St. Louis Higher Ed organizing: Is It Becoming a Movement?
November 3, 2016 | 6:00 pm

College teachers are organizing unions in St. Louis. In an age where over half of college teachers are part-timers, they’re organizing and winning representation elections; we’ll find out why and how administrators are responding.

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The Mythology of Work: How Capitalism Persists Despite Itself and The First War on Terror 1919
October 27, 2016 | 6:00 pm

We focus on some of the earliest victims of the US War on Terror - Italian-Americans. We will talk with a leading authority on the contributions of Italians to the Industrial Revolution in early 1900's America. Then, Peter Fleming, author of The Mythology of Work: How Capitalism Persists Despite Itself says work used to be inextricably linked to survival and self-preservation; now it’s morphed into a painful and meaningless ritual.

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The South African Miner Massacre and the Spirit of Marikana and Hesitant Comrades: The Irish Revolution and the British Labour Movement
October 20, 2016 | 6:00 pm

On August 16th 2012, thirty-four platinum mineworkers were gunned down by the police under the auspices of South Africa's African National Congress. The ensuing outrage became a turning point in South African history. This week, we’ll interview the authors of a new book about the Marikana massacre. Then we’ll talk with the authors of another new book called Hesitant Comrades: The Irish Revolution and the British Labour Movement.

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The KC Rent Bubble and Citizens for Community Benefits Agreements
October 13, 2016 | 6:00 pm

There’s a real estate bubble in Kansas City and it’s swelling rents to supersize, especially for the working poor. We’ll find out why and what are the prospects for more affordable housing. Then, MORE Squared wants to make development work for all with community benefits agreements.

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Manny Ness: Southern Insurgency; The Coming of the Global Working Class and Chiluba Musonda: From Zambia to KC
October 6, 2016 | 6:00 pm

Are we developing a global working class? Immanuel Ness discusses his new book, "Southern Insurgency". Then, Chiluba Musonda came to Kansas City from Zambia as a student. He will tell his story about what it takes to make it in this midwestern city as an international student.

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Tim Sheard: Someone Has to Die and Will Uber Take Over the Bus System?
September 29, 2016 | 6:00 pm

KC Area Transportation Authority has contracted with Bridj, an on demand rideshare company that provides transportation to seniors and those with disabilities. For now, drivers are union members of ATU Local 1287, but how is the program working and will it continue? Then, stay with us for a conversation with writer, activist and educator Timothy Sheard about the latest his latest mystery novel "Someone Has to Die."

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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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Judy Ancel | Facebook

Producer of "Heartland Labor Forum"

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