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.
  • 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
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Recent episodes

A Pension Primer for Young People and Maryland Brush: Union and Coop July 19, 2018 | 6:00 pm

Many people think that getting young workers to think or care about retirement is impossible. This week on the Heartland Labor Forum, we’ll do a pension primer for young workers. Then, hear about a factory that is not only owned by its workers but also managed by them, and they have a union.

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UPS: What will Brown Do to You? And The Harvey Girls
July 12, 2018 | 6:00 pm

Buster Brown - alias UPS - and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters have a tentative agreement on the biggest contract since the ’97 strike. Will they end two tier? Will they convert more part timers into full time? Will they start delivery on Sundays? Then, what was a Harvey Girl? Being one changed the lives of countless working women in America.

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What Trump Gets Wrong about Trade and What They Didn’t Teach You in School about Black and Latinx History
July 5, 2018 | 6:00 pm

Candidate Trump said NAFTA was the worst trade agreement ever and promised to fix it and bring the jobs back to the USA. This week, we’ll find out from the Citizen’s Trade Campaign just what Trump Gets Wrong about Trade. Then, we’ll challenge you to relearn American history as we talk about What They Didn’t Teach You in School regarding Black and Latinx History.

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Our Disappearing Right to Vote and Is Civil Disobedience Still Relevant?
June 28, 2018 | 6:00 pm

We explore our disappearing right to vote with Kansas ACLU Executive Director Micah Kubic. Then we ask, “Would you knowingly break a law if you thought it was unjust?” We’ll meet three people who broke the law for justice, and ask why civil disobedience is still relevant.

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Choke Points: Logistics Workers Disrupting the Global Supply Chain and After the Cheering Stops Cyndy Feasel on Sports Concussions
June 21, 2018 | 6:00 pm

What are choke points and how can logistics workers use them to build global worker power? We’ll find out from Choke Points co-author Jake Alimahomed-Wilson. Then, hear Cyndy Feasel, wife of NFLer Grant Feasel, describe how playing professional football contributed to his death. She’ll talk about her book, After the Cheering Stops.

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Trumpism in Latin America: Stolen Elections and More Guns, Prisons and Immigrants
June 14, 2018 | 6:00 pm

We take a look at Trumpism in Latin America. Has our policy changed much since Obama? How are workers faring? We’ll look at Mexico and Honduras and ask about elections, whether they were or will be stolen, more military aid and who gets killed, more political prisoners, and of course, more immigrants seeking asylum at our borders.

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Quindaro: A Gateway to Freedom and Meet the HLF Feature Writers
June 7, 2018 | 6:00 pm

We’ll take you to Quindaro, which made Kansas City Kansas a gateway to freedom. It was the next to last stop on the underground railroad. Then, meet the Heartland Labor Forum feature writers: Angie Williams, who produces Know Your Rights, Ariana Eakle, with Remember our Struggle, Mark Gruenberg with Washington Window, and Safety First’s Mary Erio. Also, meet our fabulous engineer, Jen Zaman.

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Lauren Arthur vs. Kevin Corlew and Tiff over TIF in Raytown
May 31, 2018 | 6:00 pm

There’s a hot race for State Senate in the Northland. It’s Lauren Arthur vs Kevin Corlew, and they’ll be with us this week on the Heartland Labor Forum. Also, in Raytown there’s a tiff over TIF – that’s the Wal-Mart TIF and the number of police calls to the store causing the city to raise taxes to cover the cost. Who should pay? Thursday at 6pm, rebroadcast Friday at 5am.

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A Day in the Life of a Right to Work Ballot Activist and Missouri Legislative Post Mortem
May 24, 2018 | 6:00 pm

We’ll look at Missouri lawmakers’ relentless attempts to assassinate our labor rights and our battle to save them. Representative Judy Morgan will detail the assaults in the legislative session. Then, we’ll discuss the campaign to revive them by repealing last year’s right to work law.

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Getting Around Town: Street Cars, Buses, and Street Names
May 17, 2018 | 6:00 pm

We look at upcoming changes in how people in Kansas City get around. What's the latest on naming something after Martin Luther King? What is bus rapid transit? Will streetcar expansion be good for Westport?

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Judy Ancel | Facebook

Producer of "Heartland Labor Forum"

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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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