Boeing technicians have voted in favour of forming the first collective bargaining unit at Boeing’s factory in South Carolina. The “micro-unit” will represent fewer than 180 flight-line workers, a small subset of the 7,000 or so workers who build the 787 in North Charleston.

Boeing maintains that this type of unit is illegal. “Boeing continues to believe that this type of micro-unit is prohibited by federal law,” the company said. “While we are deeply disappointed with the result and are appealing, we will come together as we continue to deliver on our customer commitments.”

In the vote, 104 employees voted in favor of the union while 65 voted against.