How the Jones Act Protects Maritime Workers

The Jones Act outlines a set of international laws that regulate maritime commerce. Its primary objective is to protect the jobs and interests of American laborers, many of whom are seafarers (sailors).

The law requires that goods imported into the United States be transported by American-flag ships staffed by American crews. Thus, it benefits the U.S.-based shipbuilding industry and provides jobs for Americans.


Gives the Seafaring Industry Exposure to the International Market

The law requires that vessels must be built in the United States and owned by American corporations. American-owned and American-flagged ships are used to transport goods.

Accessing the foreign market has created jobs for seafarers and shipbuilders. For instance, if a shipyard building an American-flag vessel needs to hire an American crew member, this will be possible because of the Jones Act.

Covers Maritime Workers’ Expenses in Case of Work-Related Injury or Death

The law requires that maritime workers are insured against illness, injury, and death due to back injuries sustained during work on a foreign-flagged vessel. If you suffered a work-related injury, you may be eligible for compensation.

A maritime injury lawyer for you is a good option whenever a crew member is injured on a foreign-flagged vessel as a result of the negligence of a crew member. An attorney can protect your rights and help cover your medical bills.

Provides Job Security in a National Emergency or Catastrophic Event

The law also protects maritime jobs. In case of catastrophic natural events and national emergencies, such as an attack on the U.S., maritime workers are guaranteed job opportunities to rebuild their own industries, including shipyards and shipping industries.

Raises the National Profile of Shipbuilding as a Viable National Industry

By inspiring confidence among foreign investors, the law helps to raise shipbuilding as an international and domestic industry. This will boost demand for U.S.-built vessels in foreign markets, resulting in job opportunities for U.S.-based workers and more jobs for American shipbuilders.

Helps to Prevent the Loss of Lives at Sea

The law helps to prevent maritime accidents and deaths through proper training, safety precautions, and updated navigation equipment on U.S.-flagged vessels. For instance, if a vessel has inadequate or faulty navigation equipment or is not properly trained, it may cause a maritime accident resulting in loss of lives at sea.

Provides More Protection for Shipyards and Port Cities

In many cases, industries will benefit from decreased losses due to maritime labor violations and maritime accidents since the law obligates U.S.-flag ships to be used to transport goods between the United States and foreign ports. The law also requires that coastal harbors have all their necessary port facilities available to support American-flag vessels.

This, in turn, provides a more stable transportation system since all ports will be equipped to support American ships. For instance, if a large shipyard invests in developing new construction standards and can build high-quality U.S.-flag vessels, it will have guaranteed work to support itself.

It Promotes Better Working Conditions for Seafarers

The law requires that American-flagged vessels commit to maintaining the best working conditions possible by meeting international maritime labor standards, which are enforceable.

Maritime workers will no longer be subjected to poor living and working conditions in other countries’ waters because the Jones Act protects them against such abuses.

Helps Stabilize the U.S. Merchant Marine by Promoting a Well-Trained and Sufficiently Staffed Maritime Workforce

The Jones Act helps stabilize American merchant marine jobs during economic downturns, such as when the economy is struggling to recover from a recession or depression. The U.S. has one of the largest maritime industries in the world partly due to integrating the maritime industry and American labor force into one extensive network.

The Act has also promoted U.S. shipbuilding, which makes up a big industry in the country. The Jones Act nurtures and protects the nation’s economy, workers, and communities.

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