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.
  • 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

The New Center for Neighborhoods and Disabilities Integration Act May 26, 2016 | 6:00 pm

Hear about the new partnership between UMKC’s Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design and the community to address the challenges facing neighborhoods in Kansas City, MO. The new Center for Neighborhoods serves as a catalyst for neighborhood planning activities and issues facing neighborhood organizations in our region. Then we’ll find out about the proposed Disabilities Integration Act which would aim to fully make people with disabilities a part of our communities.

Read More
Recent episodes

Maintain That Plane Where? and Media Sleeps Through Democracy Awakening May 19, 2016 | 6:00 pm

Do you know where the plane you fly is maintained? Why is Senator Claire McCaskill asking TSA if they inspect and enforce safety standards in foreign airline maintenance bases? Then, last month hundreds of people were arrested on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Democracy Spring and Democracy Awakening. Did you hear anything about it in the news?

Read More

Will Verizon #NeverSettle? and The Peabody Cave-in
May 12, 2016 | 6:00 pm

Will Verizon never settle?. . . with its unions? We’ll talk about the strike and the stakes for workers in the communications industry. Then, what’s happening to jobs in the coal industry? We’ll ask the United Mineworkers Union and find out what’s behind the Peabody Coal cave-in. Thursday at 6pm, rebroadcast Friday at 5am.

Read More

Black Lives Matter for Unions – Labor Notes Conference Workshop May 5, 2016 | 6:00 pm

The Black Lives Matter movement is inspiring some unions to take a stand for racial justice. We’ll hear about it from a panel of union activists at last month’s Labor Notes Conference who are getting members talking to each other about race and the problem of police accountability.

Read More

Innovations in Labor from This Year’s Jobs with Justice Conference April 28, 2016 | 6:00 pm

We’ll look at the future of work and bargaining with help from the Jobs with Justice national conference in February, the National Guestworker Alliance on how seafood temp workers are organizing across borders and combatting the blacklist, and a great story about organizing Facebook contract drivers from the Teamsters.

Read More

Corporate Raiders Crash the Classroom
April 21, 2016 | 6:00 pm

Two teachers will discuss how testing strips important protections from teachers and vital experiences from students. Find out why they applaud students who walk out on tests and colleges which don't require SAT scores, and why they want your help protecting public education.

Read More

U.S. Senate Cafeteria Workers Cookin’ Up Trouble and Tips: A Throwback to Slavery
April 14, 2016 | 6:00 pm

Did Senators go hungry today alongside the workers who feed them? We’ll hear about the strike in the Senate Cafeteria. It’s part of the fight for $15. And then, is the practice of tipping a vestige of slavery? That’s what ROC United coordinator Saru Jayaraman says. She organizes restaurant workers.

Read More

Human Race – One Race and Teamsters on the Cutting Board
April 7, 2016 | 6:00 pm

Hear about the remarkable march last week of Longfellow Elementary students with banners declaring “One Race -Human Race. Kids are learning to build a better community. Then, why are Teamster retirees up in arms about their pensions?

Read More

Should We Get Rid of the Electoral College? And Earl Wheeler: Lessons from KC Labor’s Past
March 31, 2016 | 6:00 pm

The Electoral College – that obstacle to direct election of the President put into the Constitution by the framers. Did they have a point? We’ll talk to UMKC Professor Max Skidmore about it. Then we interview long retired labor leader Earl Wheeler about the Kansas City labor movement in the 1970s and 80s.

Read More

Everyone’s Marching on Washington this Spring and Summer
March 24, 2016 | 6:00 pm

On April 14th Teamsters will be in Washington protesting pension cuts. On April 17th and 18th labor, civil rights, environmental and student organizations will surround the Capitol with a Democracy Awakening protesting the attack on voting rights and money in politics. Then July 8-10, educators will march For Public Education & Social Justice. It seems everyone’s marching on Washington.

Read More

A Streetcar Named Non-Union and MO Legislature to KC: “Bend Uber”
March 17, 2016 | 6:00 pm

Will jobs on the new KC streetcars be good jobs? We’ll find out from the union that represents the Area Transportation Authority bus drivers. Then, "Bend Uber", Kansas City--the Missouri legislature is preempting local control again.

Read More

Showing page 1 of 20 Next

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
Judy Ancel | Facebook

Producer of "Heartland Labor Forum"

Read More