The anime industry’s notoriously punishing working conditions have hit the headlines again. Studio Trigger, one of the best-known animation studios in Japan, has reached a settlement with former employees following union arbitration.
In a statement, the General Union’s Black Company branch explained that the dispute was over the studio’s misapplication of the country’s “discretionary labor system.” This system enables employers to pay staff a fixed wage, irrespective of hours worked, and it is often abused to avoid paying overtime — which was the problem in this case.
“It was tough,” the employees commented, “but we’re glad we were able to settle without any problems. We hope that the discretionary labor system will be used correctly in this industry.” The size of the settlement wasn’t disclosed. In its own statement, Trigger said it would “endeavor to improve working conditions.”