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Dominic J. Badolato Papers

 Collection
Identifier: 2003-0137

Scope and Content

The Dominic J. Badolato Papers consist of materials generated by Badolato in his career as member of the Connecticut House of Representatives and as a labor leader with AFSCME Council 4. They include materials from AFSCME conventions, campaign literature from elections in which Badolato ran for the Connecticut House of Representatives, records Badolato generated as a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives, administrative records of AFSCME Council 4, and information involving the labor and political scene in Connecticut from the 1940s to the 1990s.

Dates

  • undated, 1918-2003

Access

The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from both the University of Connecticut Libraries and the owner(s) of the copyright.

Biography

Dominic J. Badolato, son of Nicolas and Angeline Badolato, was born on December 20, 1919, and raised in New Britain, Connecticut. The 1920s and 1930s, a time in both United States and world history which was wrought with economic despair, were the formative years in which Badolato grew up. The Great Depression was a period in history in which both individuals and families struggled for a decent living and thus the efforts of American laborers would become the focus of Dominic Badolato's work. Badolato attended New Britain public schools and later graduated from an intensive trade union program of management-union courses at the Harvard Business School. After graduation Badolato served his country during World War II as an infantryman with the United States Army.

Upon his honorable discharge from the army Badolato became a laborer at the New Britain Machine Company. In addition to his job, Badolato involved himself with public service and in community life. Badolato's long career of serving the public began in 1954 when he was first elected to the Connecticut General Assembly as a State Representative, a position which he maintained for twenty-two years, until 1976. In his eleven consecutive terms in office Badolato held many legislative positions of responsibility and prestige, including serving on the Appropriations Committee, the Committee on Human Rights and Opportunities, the Elections Committee, the Executive Nominations Committee, the Federal and Intergovernmental Relations Committee, the Finance Committee, the Incorporations Committee, the Labor Committee, the Legislative Council, the Public Utilities Committee, the Rules Committee, and the State Hospital Cost Containment Committee. Badolato was also appointed by Governor Abraham Ribicoff to a commission to study the state's housing needs, by Governor John Dempsey to a commission to study collective bargaining for municipal employees, and by Governor Ella Grasso to the State Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. In his final term in office, Badolato held the position of Assistant Majority Leader.

In addition to his work within Connecticut's legislature, Dominic Badolato is also a renowned Connecticut labor leader. While still serving in the Connecticut State Legislature Badolato began his labor career in 1961 when he became a Staff Representative for the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). Badolato worked tirelessly and moved up the ranks of AFSCME's Connecticut branch Council 4 until he was elected Executive Director of AFSCME Council 4 in 1968. In 1970 Badolato was elected to the position of AFSCME International Vice President of Southern New England's Legislative District. After eighteen years as International Vice President Badolato was banned from running for another re-election in 1988 and forced to retire from his office due to his age. AFSCME's Constitution prohibited candidates age 65 and over from running in the election. Badolato filed an age-discrimination complaint against AFSCME with the United States Department of Labor. The U.S. Department of Labor brought Badolato's complaint before U.S. Judge Gerhard A. Gesell who ruled that AFSCME's age provision was illegal and ordered a new election for International Vice President to take place - one in which Badolato ran for re-election and won. In addition to his work with AFSCME, Badolato has also been of service to the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). Badolato has held numerous positions of prestige and responsibility with the AFL-CIO including the offices of Executive Secretary and Executive Vice President. Badolato has also been involved in many other labor organizations including the Greater New Britain Labor Council, the Labor Committee, the New Britain Machine Union, the Public Personnel Committee, and the State Retirement Commission.

Throughout his many years as a labor legislator Dominic Badolato had numerous accomplishments. Badolato's work within both AFSCME and the Connecticut State Legislature resulted in improvements to minimum wage, unemployment compensation, collective bargaining, and working conditions in general. In terms of minimum wage, through his work as a labor legislator Badolato helped pass legislation which guarantees that Connecticut's minimum wage is always automatically higher than the federal minimum wage requirement. For unemployment compensation, Badolato facilitated the elimination of the waiting period to qualify for benefits, expanded the number of persons eligible for compensation by law, included public employees under the law for the first time as well as employees of nonprofit institutions, established a benefit level at 60% of taxable wages earned, and expanded the number of unemployment compensation offices. In addition to these achievements Badolato is well known for his dedication to public employees' collective bargaining rights. Badolato facilitated the enactment of the Connecticut Municipal Employees Relations Act, the State Employees Relations Act, and the Teachers Collective Bargaining Act. Badolato's leadership improved safety conditions in the workplace through the passing of the State Occupational Safety and Health Act for Public Employees and the enactment of laws preventing discrimination against women, the aged, and the exploitation of mentally retarded employees. Badolato also introduced a bill which resulted in the establishment of the first eye bank in Connecticut, fought for increases in educational grants-in-aid, helped to provide for the construction and expansion of the E.C. Goodwin Regional Technical School in New Britain, Connecticut, and the expansion of what is now Central Connecticut State University in New Britain.

Despite his numerous commitments as a labor legislator Dominic Badolato always remained dedicated to the community. As a Roman Catholic, Badolato was an active member in his parish and served as an usher. Badolato also served as a member of the New Britain Board of Park Commissioners, the Charter Revision Commission, the Board of Police Commissioners, the Mattabassett District Commission, the Police Commissioners Association of Connecticut, the New England Chiefs of Police Association, the Knights of Columbus, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the 1995 Special Olympic Games held in New Haven, Connecticut. Badolato was also an active figure within the community's athletic life. He managed many sports teams including the Pawnee football team, the American Legion Junior baseball team, and the Unitam softball team. In 1950 Badolato took over the managership of the Bowl-o-Rink bowling alleys and served as the President of the Connecticut Alley Operators Association. On top of his involvement in these organizations Badolato was active in Veteran affairs. Badolato was a Life Member of the Italian American War Veterans Bernadino-Badolato Post No. 1 (named in part for Badolato's brother who was killed in action during World War II), a Life Member of the American Legion, a Life Member of the Disabled American Veterans, and a member of the Order of the Sons of Italy.

During the course of both his legislative and labor careers Dominic Badolato was the recipient of numerous honors and awards. He received the New Britain Police Man of the Year Award, the New Britain Labor Council Man of the Year Award, the WRCH Radio Distinguished Achievement Award, the Connecticut Firemen's Association Appreciation Award, a Citation from the Uniformed Firefighters, a Citation from the State Barbers' Association, a Citation and Tribute from Connecticut State AFL-CIO, a Humanitarian Award from Sons of Italy Lodge 2165, a Certificate of Appreciation from the New Britain NAACP, a Citation from the Police Commissioners of Connecticut, an Americanism Award from the American Legion, an Award of Merit from the Connecticut State AFL-CIO, a Recognition Award from the New Britain Chamber of Commerce, a Certificate of Appreciation from the Columbian Federation, an Award of Significant Contribution in Support of Public Education from the Connecticut State Federation of Teachers, an Israel Bonds Labor Medal from the State of Israel, and was honored with a Dominic J. Badolato Day by the City of New Britain. However, the greatest honor that Badolato received was having AFSCME Council 4's Headquarters dedicated to and named after him in 1985 when the building was named The Dominic J. Badolato Labor Center.

During the final years of his career Dominic Badolato encountered some legal issues. In 1998 Michael Ferrucci Jr., Executive Director, Lois O’Connor, President, and Clarke King, Secretary of Council 4 filed charges against Badolato, former Executive Director of Council 4. Badolato was brought before the AFSCME Judicial Panel based on three charges: first, that Badolato violated his oath of office by destroying union records and/or refusing to turn over records to his successor in office (Ferrucci) which interfered with the newly elected officers of Council 4 in carrying out their lawful duties; second, that Badolato improperly withheld payment of fees from Local 1303 to Council 4 for a period of ten years and then improperly paid $350,501.95 from Local 1303 to Council 4; and third, that Badolato improperly obligated the funds of Council 4 and interfered with the ability of his successor to carry out his lawful duties by entering into long-term personal service contracts with ten employees of Council 4 who supported his own candidacy for re-election. Badolato was cleared of charges one and two but was found guilty of charge three. The Judicial Panel found that Badolato created these personal service contracts for his supporters within AFSCME after he knew he could not be re-elected as Executive Director of Council 4 and thus the contracts were intended for the purpose of protecting Badolato’s loyal supporters from termination and/or burdening Ferrucci with disloyal staff. As a result of being found guilty the Judicial Panel expelled Badolato from AFSCME membership.

Dominic J. Badolato died on September 22, 2011, at his home in New Britain, Connecticut.

Extent

198 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Records generated through the extensive career of Dominic J. Badolato (1919-1911), who served as a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives, representing New Britain, from 1954 to 1976, and was the founding head of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Union, Council 4, in New Britain, Connecticut, from 1968 to 1996.

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated in November 2003 and March 2004 from Mr. Badolato and from AFSCME, Council 4, in New Britain, Connecticut. An addition to the collection (the contents of boxes 152 and 153) was made in October 2011 by Mrs. Gladys Badolato. A small addition of photographs was donated in October 2013 by Ms. Donna Campbell, Mr. Badolato's daughter.

Related Material

Archives & Special Collections has a substantial collection of materials pertaining to Connecticut labor. For detailed information on these collections please contact the curator or ask at the Reading Room desk.

Separated Material

The following materials have been separated from the collection and cataloged:

2003-0137.vr1 Save America , Mount Avery Baptist Church, Bridgeport CT Rally. Jesse James in attendance, June 23, 1991

2003-0137.vr2 Labor Rally in Connecticut, August 1991, Features Jesse Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Chris Dodd

2003-0137.vr3 Raw Footage for August 1991 Rally

2003-0137.vr4 Connecticut News, "Dominic Badolato" October 1, 1991

2003-0137.vr5 Connecticut News, "State Reaches Agreement with AFSCME" , October 29, 1991

Thirty-five videocassettes, most of speakers from the 1996 AFSCME convention, were removed from the collection.
Title
Dominic J. Badolato Papers
Status
Published
Author
Archives & Special Collections staff
Date
2009 September
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

Contact:
University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US
860-486-2524