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The two-percent assessment

Photo caption: The official photograph of delegates to the 32nd Biennial Convention held in Louisville, Kentucky in 1934.

Browne established - and perverted - a two percent assessment on all IA members’ earnings to create a defense fund intended to fight unscrupulous employers.  Browne took complete control of the fund.  The assessment was about $60,000 a month, but no genuine accounting of the money was ever made.

This defense fund inspired the locals to rise up against Browne and Bioff.  While not initially successful, they stirred up enough trouble to create a growing public awareness of the activities of these corrupt leaders.

Outraged members filed suit to gain an accounting of the defense fund.  The suit failed, but it focused a public spotlight on George Browne and especially on Willie Bioff.  They found that they could not act with impunity as they had hoped.