Labor Groups Petition Arne Duncan To Dump Sallie Mae

A prominent student group and the nation’s largest labor federation are among organizations with close ties to the White House demanding that the Department of Education terminate its contract with the student loan company formerly known as Sallie Mae.

The AFL-CIO, United States Student Association, American Federation of Teachers and other advocacy groups in recent days have called on their members to sign an online petition urging Education Secretary Arne Duncan to sever Navient Corp.’s lucrative contract to collect monthly payments on federal student loans after federal authorities accused the company of cheating soldiers. Sallie Mae recently split itself into two companies, Navient and Sallie Mae Bank.

The involvement of the AFL-CIO, an ally of the White House and the Democratic Party, opens a new political front in student advocates’ campaign to force Duncan to hold Navient accountable.

“The Department of Education shouldn’t be in business with companies like Sallie Mae that break the law, and I don’t want my taxpayer dollars supporting such a company,” the petition states. “I urge you to not turn a blind eye to these disreputable practices. Please take these matters seriously by ending your agency’s contract and business dealings with Sallie Mae at once.”

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