(Bloomberg) -- An Apple Inc. retail store in the upscale town of Short Hills, New Jersey, has petitioned to unionize, marking the first such effort after a yearlong lull.

The store, located within a mall, has 104 employees that would be part of the union if the effort moves forward. The staff, represented by Communications Workers of America, filed its petition with the National Labor Relations Board on Monday.

This marks the fifth US Apple store where workers have petitioned to unionize, joining locations in Oklahoma City, the Maryland town of Towson, Atlanta and St. Louis. So far, only the Towson and Oklahoma City sites have successfully unionized. 

“We strongly believe forming a union is the best way to ensure all Apple workers receive the respect, pay, benefits and working conditions we deserve,” John Nagy, a member of the organizing committee for the New Jersey, said in a statement provided by the CWA. “While Apple has responded to organizing by violating workers’ rights at stores across the country, we hope Apple’s executives will recognize their opportunity to stay on the cutting edge by taking a different approach.”

He added that the group asked Apple “not to interfere in our ongoing organizing efforts and, instead, allow workers to freely determine for themselves whether to form a union.”

In a statement, Apple said that it was “dedicated to providing an excellent experience for our customers and teams.”

“We have always paid our retail teams in the top tier of the market,” the Cupertino, California-based company said. “And we provide exceptional and comprehensive benefits for all full- and part-time employees as a part of the overall support we provide to our valued team members.”

Read More: Apple Continues Efforts to Keep Retail Stores From Unionizing

In June 2022, the Towson store became Apple’s first US location to successfully unionize, helping set off other efforts. In response, Apple held a number of meetings with retail workers that year and in 2023 to address concerns. The company said that the gatherings were informational sessions, but some workers described them as a ploy to prevent further unions.

For the last year or so, the Apple unionization efforts appeared to lose momentum. The New Jersey store workers could help rekindle the effort. 

“By forming a union, we are expressing our dedication to our work and our customers and our desire to have an independent voice to advocate for more fairness and opportunity for all Apple retail workers,” according to the statement. 

The store has to undergo a process before workers can join the union. If the NLRB holds an election and a majority of voters support the union, then Apple would be required to recognize and negotiate with the group over working conditions and policies.

The Towson and Oklahoma City workers have so far been unable to reach a collective bargaining agreement with Apple.

Last year, an NLRB judge ruled that Apple illegally “coercively interrogated” employees about their pro-union sympathies at a World Trade Center store in New York City, and a regional director of the agency issued a complaint accusing the company of violating labor law by denying the unionized Towson store the improved benefits it was rolling out elsewhere. Apple has denied wrongdoing.

(Updates with more on Apple’s NLRB history in final paragraph.)

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.