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

Which Side Are You On? Right to Work or Right to Freeload
January 12, 2017 | 6:00 pm

Missouri Republicans are poised to deliver a body blow to the state’s private sector unions. It’s called right to work although it has little to do with either rights or jobs. This week on the Heartland Labor Forum, we’ll host a debate on the pros and cons.

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The Supreme Court On Unions & Trump Tweets On Carrier
January 5, 2017 | 6:00 pm

How stacked is U.S. labor law against workers? We’ll talk to author and attorney Julius Getman about his new book: The Supreme Court on Unions. Then are you skeptical oft the Tweets from Trump about how he saved all those jobs at Carrier in Indiana? We are too, so we’ll talk to United Steelworkers Local President Chuck Jones, who talked back to Trump and lived to tell the tale.

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Pray for the Dead: A Musical Tale of Morgues, Moguls, and Mutiny
December 29, 2016 | 6:00 pm

We’ll have a condensed version of the musical "Pray for the Dead: A Musical Tale of Morgues, Moguls, and Mutiny", in which workers in a funeral home and morgue take on the greedy 1 percenters who run things and come up with a unique way to save their jobs. Then, we’ll have a roundup of the biggest labor news from 2016 from Mark Gruenberg in Washington DC.

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Serving Up Justice on Campus
December 22, 2016 | 6:00 pm

Campus workers from dining halls to grad students are organizing. On this week's show, we'll look into how they're Serving Up Justice On Campus.

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Prisoners on Strike and Stress on the Line
December 15, 2016 | 6:00 pm

Last September, inmates in prisons across the nation went on strike against exploitative work, saying it’s a lot like slavery. This week on the Heartland Labor Forum, we’ll find out what’s next. Also, we’ll talk to labor historian Priscilla Murollo about how the U.S. working class fought back against the rise of fascism in the 1930’s.

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Oil vs Water: The Dakota Access Pipeline Debate – Another Blue-Green Standoff?
December 8, 2016 | 6:00 pm

Our show is "Oil vs Water: The Dakota Access Pipeline Debate". Is this another Blue-Green standoff of jobs versus the environment? We’ll look at the issue from both sides as well as how the recent denial of a permit will impact the issue.

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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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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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