Most cruise lines and cargo ships fly foreign flags. That means that even if they are headquartered in California, they follow foreign labor laws. For many workers, this translates to little pay and little recourse if they get hurt on the job.
Filipino seafarers, who make up a quarter of all seafarers, are subject to government-mandated arbitration clauses. If they are hurt on the job, or not paid what they are due, they can't sue their employers.
Investigative reporter Karen Foshay reports on how hundreds of years of protections are unraveling thanks to a private system of justice that some say is anything but just.
Additional reporting by Aurora Almendral.
Photo: Lito Asignacion at his home. Over 35 percent of his body was burned while working on a cargo vessel in New Orleans. He received $1870 in compensation. (Jake Salvador)