A Taiwanese animation studio has released a video that uses the still-unfolding El Faro tragedy to attack the Jones Act and the US maritime industry. This video is nothing short of an effort by Taiwanese shipping companies to weaken the Jones Act and our maritime industry in hopes of increasing their profits. What it reveals is how little Taiwanese shipping companies value human life - the fact that they are so willing to use the disappearance of 33 US mariners to push their corporate objectives proves they don't care about the most important cargo on any ship anywhere in the world - the people.
We have spent our careers protecting mariners from corporate interests that seek to eliminate your legal rights, so we can spot a greedy corporation a mile away. First, the tastelessness of using the El Faro tragedy to shipping companies's advantage is unreal. Taiwan has long wanted the Jones Act to disappear so they could force American mariners to "compete" with the lowest-paid, worst-treated workers in the world for jobs on foreign-flagged ships. They are looking to use the El Faro situation to line their pockets while paying their workforce almost nothing.
Our experience in representing seamen and their loved ones after maritime disasters, including the 2009 hijacking of the Maersk Alabama, has revealed that companies often put profits over people, but this is the first time we've seen such a blatant repurposing of a disaster to benefit the corporations behind the attck video.
Instead of extending messages of hope and support to emotionally-wrought mariners and their loved ones, Taiwanese shipping companies are taking a swing at worker's rights. American seafarers deserve better than to be attacked and have their industry threatened while search and rescue operations are still underway for the crew of the El Faro.