Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is refusing to dump board member Marcy Reed, head of National Grid in Massachusetts, after locked out United Steelworkers called for her removal yesterday in protests outside BCBSs Boston office.
Our Board is comprised of talented and experienced professionals who bring a diversity of perspectives and includes both management and labor leaders, said Amy McHugh, spokeswoman for Blue Cross, in a statement. Marcy Reed has served on our board since 2016 and brings the important voice of employers to our board discussions ... We hope the two sides will be able to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement.
But the dozens of Local 12003 members who rallied yesterday at the health insurance companys headquarters on Huntington Avenue argued that Reed has shown she doesnt care about public health by shutting off their benefits.
We feel people who work for Blue Cross Blue Shield should feel for people who are ill, said Joe Kirylo, president of the Boston Gas Union, Local 12003. Marcy Reed made it clear by cutting off our health care ... it means you have no heart, no soul.
The steelworkers have been locked out of work since June 25. The steelworkers, accompanied by members of the Massachusetts Teachers Association and 1199 SEIU, the union for health care workers, also joined Marriott hotel workers on strike on Park Plaza.
It makes you feel betrayed, said Cathy Hellested, 56, of Braintree, a 35-year corrosion technician for National Grid. You worked so hard for a company that makes so much money off the work you do, and this is how they treat you.
The rug was pulled out from under us, said Chris Brennan, 58, a National Grid worker for 24 years. My wife was scheduled for her next round of immunotherapy for stage 4 cancer. ... They are making sure everyone in the membership suffers as much as they can.
National Grid defended Reeds position and says it is committed to a fair agreement.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has been an insurance provider for our employees for over 30 years and Marcy Reed ably represents National Grid Massachusetts as a member of its board of directors, said Christine Milligan, spokeswoman for National Grid Massachusetts. We remain committed to negotiating for a fair agreement with the Steelworkers that balances the needs of our employees and our customers and gets our union employees back to work as soon as possible.