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

Surviving and Fighting Right to Work March 23, 2017 | 6:00 pm

Unless Missouri unions develop a way to block it, Missouri will become the 28th right to work state on August 28th. How can our unions – and workers - survive it? Or is there a strategy to reverse it?

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The Jeff City Firing Squad Aims at Prevailing Wage Workers & Public Employees March 16, 2017 | 6:00 pm

Republicans in Jefferson City are gunning for unions. Now that right-to-work has passed, they’re going after the standard of living of construction workers and the rights to representation of public employees.

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Wentzville School Bus Drivers Organize and Federal Workers in the Cross Hairs (Again)
March 9, 2017 | 6:00 pm

We talk to AFT union leader Scott Ciafullo about some of the challenges facing bus drivers, teachers, and their unions in Missouri. Then, President Trump may want to boost private sector jobs, but he’s threatening to cut thousands of federal jobs, cut retiree benefits and has said federal workers are overpaid. We’ll get the other side from the National Active and Retired Federal Employees.

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Repeal and Replace the ACA: One Giant Death Panel?
March 2, 2017 | 6:00 pm

“And then this magical amazing policy came around that we started talking about. We started talking about the ACA, where they decided that, 'hey, maybe being born is not something you should be punished for.'” That’s one of the witnesses who gave compelling testimony on why we need to save the Affordable Care Act.

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Gunpowder Girls of the Civil War and Fannie Never Flinched
February 23, 2017 | 6:00 pm

We bring you the hidden history of women workers in the 1800s. In Gunpowder Girls of the Civil War, poor immigrant girls and widows – made bullets and literally went up in smoke because of industrial carelessness at three major arsenals. Then, Fannie Sellens organized during the Gilded Age and founded key union locals in Missouri during her life long fight for justice. Her legacy lives on thanks to a new children's book.

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The Million Women March on the Inauguration and Fixing the Pipelines: Plenty of Jobs
February 16, 2017 | 6:00 pm

We’ll hear from women at the Washington, DC march Jan. 21st and find out how many people turned out in KC and why they came. Then, we dig deeper into the pipeline debate with Laborers International rep Kevin Pranis about the need to repair leaky pipes and stiffen regulations.

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Meet Trump’s Cabinet Picks for Labor and Education
February 9, 2017 | 6:00 pm

President Trump was elected largely on the promise to bring good jobs back to the US, but do his nominees for the Departments of Labor, Commerce, and Education reflect that goal, or are they just the typical anti-worker Capitalists every Republican administration since Reagan has picked to run these agencies? Is labor united in their stance on these nominees, or do some support them?

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What to Do About Bad Bosses: A Labor Notes Tutorial
February 2, 2017 | 6:00 pm

Kansas City workers: do you have a boss at your job making your daily life a living hell? Never fear. Tune in for “Bad Bosses and How to Deal with Them.” This special hour-long class will give you the tools you need to fight back on the job.

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Unlawful Retaliation: EEOC’s New Rule for Workers Who File Complaints and the 1986 Flight Attendants Strike against TWA
January 26, 2017 | 6:00 pm

Did you know that almost 45 percent of charges received by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are for retaliation for filing a complaint? We’ll talk with Attorney Andrea G. Baran about it. Then we take a look at an old friend of Donald Trump: Carl Icahn, and the women and men who stood up to his discrimination as CEO of TWA in the 1980s.

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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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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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