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Keller @ Large: Man Who Approved BCBS $11M Payout

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Cleve Killingsworth reportedly received a large severance after he resigned last year.

Cleve Killingsworth reportedly received a large severance after he resigned last year.

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BOSTON (CBS) — He makes a living bashing executives who make millions, but now president of Massachusetts AFL/CIO Robert Haynes is under fire for approving a controversial $11 million payout to Blue Cross/Blue Shield’s former CEO Cleve Killingsworth.

Haynes is the top dog in the local labor movement, a vocal critic for years of corporate fat cats and their golden parachutes. But as a member of the board of BCBS, why did he ok Killingsworth’s payout?

“I’m not comfortable with that story or what’s transpired, but I am comfortable with what Blue Cross has done since then to rectify that,” Haynes told WBZ’s Jon Keller.

WBZ-TV’s Jon Keller talks with Robert Haynes.

Haynes says the company has reformed its executive pay structure, and praised the cost-control efforts of former Killingsworth.

What about the $72,000 a year Haynes makes to sit on the Blue Cross Blue Shield board?

“Do I think the payments I get as a member of the board are generous? Yes I do. But I take my position there very seriously, representing labor, representing working people, and fighting like hell for a better health care system for people in this commonwealth,” he said.

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