If you work at sea then you might already know that your job is dangerous. Between slippery decks, long exhausting hours and tumultuous weather it is easy to get injured at sea. That is why seamen, deckhands, engineers and other maritime workers are covered under the Jones Act. Anyone working at sea is at a higher risk of injury than those working on land. The Jones Act gives extra protections to maritime workers because of the dangerous nature of the job.
People imagine that working on a cruise ship is filled with fun, entertainment and exhilarating world travel. When job-seekers sign contracts to work on these vessels they are suddenly thrown into a much harsher reality. Many cruise ships push their crewmembers to the limit with hard labor and long hours. Some employees are brought to the point of exhaustion and injury.
December has been a busy month for opponents and proponents of the Jones Act. On Dec. 5th Senator McCain called for "Deregulation of the American Maritime Industry, citing a 2002 study published by the United States International Trade Commission which, "suggested that a repeal of the Jones Act would reduce shipping costs by 22 percent...[and] would have an annual positive effect on the economy of 656 million dollars."