Skyline of Richmond, Virginia

July 21, 1926- “The Voice of Labor” goes on the air


July 21, 1926- “The Voice of Labor” goes on the air

On July 21, 1926, WCFL, “The Voice of Labor,” went on the air for the first time in 1926. WCFL was the first, and longest-lasting labor union radio station in the United States. It was owned by the Chicago Federation of Labor and lasted as a union-run station until 1978. Its founding purpose was to “influence or educate the public mind upon the meaning and objects of trade unions and of the Federation of Labor, correct wrong impressions by broadcasting the truth, and advance progressive economic ideas.” It was supported by contributions from union members and by local union sponsorship. In the beginning the station broadcast political and ideological information and speeches mixed with music and more entertaining shows. In the end, the station could not compete with the other major broadcasters in Chicago and the CFL sold it to the Amway corporation.

Today that tradition is carried on by three Pennsylvania radio programs. In the Lehigh Valley, Democratic Talk Radio ( from WGPA SUNNY 1100 AM radio (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) on Thursdays from 8:05am to 9am.

In south central PA, the Rick Smith Show ( is on Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 2:00 pm on WHYL 960 AM.

And in southwest PA, the Union Edge ( is on Monday-Friday from noon to 1:00 PM on WKFB 770 AM.

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