USPS Accused of Illegally Prioritizing Amazon Packages
News coming out from the Strategic Organizing Center (SOC) alleges that managers at specific USPS locations are instructing workers to prioritize Amazon packages over other mail, which would be illegal.
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The SOC is a democratic coalition of four labor unions and is comprised of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), Communication Workers of America (CWA), and United Farmworkers of America (UFW), together they represent over 4 million workers.
According to an online survey that was conducted over the holiday period of 2021-2022 the SOC found that a considerable number of respondents had alleged that they were instructed by managers to prioritize Amazon packages over any other mail type.
This has led to the SOC filing with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) requesting the explicit details surrounding the deal that USPS has with Amazon.
“SOC is in possession of preliminary but troubling evidence that suggests that USPS’s Contract 200 is causing the Service to violate these legal obligations under 39 USC 403(c) not to “in providing services … make any undue or unreasonable discrimination among users of the mails, nor grant … any undue or unreasonable preferences to any user [of the mails];” under 39 USC 101(e) to “give the highest consideration to the requirement for the most expeditious collection, transportation, and delivery of important letter mail;” and under 39 USC 101(b) to “provide a maximum degree of effective and regular postal services to rural areas, communities, and small towns.”
According to SOC’s follow-up interviews with survey respondents, USPS management consistently pressures USPS employees to sort and deliver Amazon packages as fast as possible but does not exert the same pressure regarding other types of mail. And as a predictable result, respondents reported that when, as often happened, it was necessary to choose whether to process and deliver Amazon packages or other mail, they would prioritize Amazon’s.”
This evidence indicates that USPS’s negotiated service agreement with Amazon likely includes terms that violate or have the effect of causing the Postal Service to violate its core legal obligations not to discriminate between users, to prioritize letter mail, and to the extent that the agreement has these impacts primarily in low-population-density areas, to provide effective services to rural communities.”SOC’s PRC Filing Motion For Access.
What Does This Mean For USPS?
If the PRC decides to allow access of the negotiated service agreement to the SOC then due to the protective conditions they would not be made public at this time. It would depend on further action being taken which the SOC intends to do within 60 days or gaining access that they have requested.
Perhaps more interesting however are the Twitter comments on a post from the @savethepo account which mentions the PRC filing with several accounts replying confirming that this is the case with USPS and that they do absolutely prioritize Amazon packages over other mail.
For anyone interested you can read the full PRC filing from the SOC here.
We will of course keep you up to date on any news that comes from this story in the future.
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Dave is a Co-Founder of eSeller365. For over 10 years he has been involved with eCommerce with a particular interest in the marketplaces and the huge opportunities available for sellers when utilizing a multi-channel strategy. After a year of being the UK’s youngest eCommerce consultant, he built an education platform called UnderstandingE that showed the world how to utilize Magento as the “Third Generation of Multi-Channel software”.
Dave has also created a YouTube channel dedicated to entrepreneurship and eCommerce as well as a podcast dedicated to mental health awareness. When Dave isn’t working his main interests include learning and playing Chess, researching the Crypto and NFT space, and trying to find the nearest beach.
Well then, you could also make the argument that Presorted mail travels faster than the “Full Network” variety due to the increased tracking scrutiny that Presorted mail gets. It is due to how the USPS Tracks and reports its on time performance. This is skewed to mail entered through the BMEU as “start the clock” induction scans are more consistent.
1000% true. Make sure “all packages are delivered and bring the mail back” a phrase openly instructed to every carrier in every office.
That is correct. Also, Sunday delivery, only take Amz packages.