Should the US Defense Department snap up Japanese cars and trucks at bargain prices while the domestic auto industry languishes? It may be economical but it isn't patriotic, says William H. Bywater, secretary-treasurer of the International Union of electrical workers and other labor leaders. They are whipping up congressional support for a "buy American" policy for the military. Critics say that Army purchases of 40 Datsun trucks this year cannot be justified on cost grounds because the price of the industry's unemployment -- welfare benefits and lost taxes -- far exceeds any saving.
The 60,000-member electrical worker union's muscle was enough to get new Jersey to cancel an order for 450 Datsuns and to restrict state purchases to domestic cars and trucks. 52900100027336 NOVEMBER 15, 1981