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.