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.

Comments (14)
  1. Robert Barrett says:


  2. massman says:

    Jon – I commend you for exposing this man for what he is. A hypocrite. With that being said, the most important issues with this story are barely touched upon. There is far too large a discrepancy with the distribution of wealth in this country. Mr. Haynes may be ethically challenged, but the statement he made about the top 1% of the wealth, is the real crisis we’re facing. Our current tax rate on the wealthy, along with our loophole riddled corporate tax rate are real problems, and this article is really just to get union bashers enraged. The exposure is great. This man should be removed from his positions. Now how about a follow up report on the message this man was sending. Have him and a legitimate economist interviewed on wealth distribution. How about someone explaining why companies like Exxon/Mobil, Bank of America, and GE are paying nothing in this country for corporate income taxes, yet we’re busy going after teachers pay in this country.

  3. jerry says:

    I just wanna know when our people here in the united states are going to wake up and take back our country from THIEVES like this and MAKE A EXAMPLE OUT OF PEOPLE LIKE THIS who STEAL from us ? when are these big paydays going to stop while the EVERYDAY POOR MAN OR WOMEN are working for peanuts and these other people are getting 11 millions as a bonusus for stepping down after a company has a huge ass loss ? that 11 million could give alot of familys good insurance or take a decent vacation for once , instead they REWARD A GUY WHO LOSES MONEY A BIG PAYDAY and people wonder why our govt is in so much debt wow. You wonder why i think our govt needs a new overhaul ? The people need to get rid of the republicans and the democrats as well and start a new govt that is for the people and not against the people ALL THEM POLITICIANS have gotten to GREEDY for their own GOOD and ITS TIME TO STOP ALL THIS GREED PERIOD .

  4. Reader says:

    I cant take the daily show serious and it isnt meant to be

  5. Worker says:

    Who else is on the board would you be happier if labor wasn’t represented?

  6. Dorothy says:

    Thanks for exposing this. I work for a small medical provider which is not contracted with Blue Cross. Consequently, they pay the patient directly for services provided by us. Don’t you think the system is being abused fraudulently by those who want to make extra cash and don’t care about going to Collections??? Our honorable Guv approved this move shortly AFTER being reelected. This affects MY livelihood, but is all in favor with the Corporation of Blue Cross.

  7. Lucy says:

    Executive pay is corrupt and immoral. There is NO excuse but they are all on each others’ boards of directors. It’s fixed. The unions aren’t the problem. They have been a problem though. It seems to be a problem when some people get too much power and too much money because they become greedy, selfish, and destructive. People should be angry but not at each other. They should be calling out these sociopathic, psychopathic, and narcissists for what they are instead of turning on each other. These people don’t work any harder than anyone else. They are just more self-serving, disconnected and dangerous.

  8. Lucy says:

    How many jobs will be created with this $11 million? Oh – that’s the beauty of it. He can just sit on it like I’m sure he will just to “have” it. It won’t do any good – not even for him. It’s a sham. There is a lot more to life than money, power, connections, and stuff that gets old and used up. The best stuff can’t be bought. However, we need money to live. I’m so sick of the insanity. It’s not ok to be willfully ignorant and it never was. To let others think for you is stupid and dangerous.

  9. 1608 says:

    When I do a good job the only thing I get is, do more tomorrow…

    Thank you, good job not the outher thing I get can’t say here but you get the idea.

  10. emom says:

    lets see is anyone truely surprised

  11. emom says:

    This is ironic, simply because so many praise BC/BS, believe they are the best in the states, trust everything they do for you, when is that all true, well you have all been DUPED, HORNSWAGGLED, BAMBOOZLED, TAKEN TO THE CLEANERS, AND SO MUCH MORE, Every year they say they must RAISE YOUR PREMIUMS, then your employer sits down to talk to them as see just how much of the plans they can create for the employees with out spending to much , then BC/BS will show them the plans they have and then the prices, well If one is close to what they can afford that’s what YOU GET. OH but wait, that’s the low end of the plans , now since they have an ala carte style insurance plans they create a few other plans for you to choice from and these are the more expensive plans, GUESS WHAT YOU JUST HAVE BEEN DUPED, AND YOUR MONEY HAS BEEN TAKEN AS WELL, Now maybe you will see just how they take you to the cleaners, only you can change it,, but hey GOOD LUCK

  12. CEO says:

    Robert Haynes is the typical hypocritical liberal union thug. I wonder what HE gets paid to be the Mass. President of the AFL/CIO in ADDITION to the $72,000 he gets to sit on BCBS of Mass.’s Board? $72,000 to meet a few times a year? He’s got a lot of nerve questioning any other executive’s pay. Meanwhile the rank and file are standing in the unemployment line.

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