Amazon gets priority while mail gets delayed, say letter carriers

PORTLAND, MAINE – Several letter carriers are accusing Portland’s postmaster of deliberately delaying the delivery of first-class and priority mail by ordering clerks to sort Amazon packages first, ensuring that carriers deliver them on time.

The delivery of first-class and priority mail is being intentionally delayed so that letter carriers can prioritize the delivery of Amazon packages, according to letter carriers at the Portland post office and an official complaint lodged with the Office of Inspector General.

The complaint accuses Postmaster James Thornton of delaying other mail by instructing clerks to sort Amazon packages first.

“Thornton is willfully delaying thousands of first-class and priority parcels so that fourth-class Amazon parcels can go out for delivery instead,” according to the complaint to the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General. It was filed July 13 and obtained by the Portland Press Herald this week.

The complaint was filed by Mark Seitz, a 16-year veteran of the postal service and the president of the Maine State Association of Letter Carriers and the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Local 92. His allegation was corroborated by two other letter carriers who said they wished to remain anonymous for fear of retribution. Willful delay of the mail is a criminal offense under federal law.

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Maine is not the only state in which this type of preference is given to Amazon. The OIG needs to conduct a Nationwide investigation into this issue.

As a new RCA, and struggling to complete my route, I was told as 1900hrs approached, I had to make sure Amazon got delivered, so stop delivering mail to boxes if I wouldn’t be able to finish and just do parcels. I don’t blame the local PM as it is orders from above. Or WAS orders from above. The Obama era deal with Amazon is a crock. Highest priority for the lowest price is a crooked deal. The new PMG will take care of it. Already see it starting to take effect. The clerks now throw USPS first, then Amazon,… Read more »

With 30% of our routes vacant and no clerks or PSEs word came down to deliver priority mail, what seemed like medications and Amazon. Everything else including equipment full of packages from Target was delayed.
Its gotten to the point that if you want a package delivered you should put a counterfeit arc with a arrowhead on it to fool the USPS into moving it.