U.S., Feb. 1 -- Yesterday the International Brotherhood of Teamsters filed a lawsuit against ExpressJet Airlines , a United Express carrier, in a federal district court in Atlanta. The lawsuit alleges that the company triggered a "major dispute" under the Railway Labor Act (RLA), the law governing airline and railroad labor relations, when it unilaterally offered a bonus program to attract new airframe and powerplant (A&P) mechanics while it was negotiating with the union over fair pay rates for those workers.

The lawsuit also alleges that

the company violated the RLA by offering recruitment bonuses to mechanics

without bargaining with the union about those changes. The union requested that

the court prohibit the company from making t...