May 19 (Reuters) - A majority of AT&T Inc's wireless, wireline and DirecTV workers began a three-day strike on Friday after failing to reach an agreement with the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier over new contracts.
This is the first time that AT&T wireless workers have gone on strike, which could result in closed retail stores during the weekend, according to the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union, whose AT&T members went on strike.
The CWA had said on Wednesday that wireless workers across 36 states and Washington, D.C. would walk-off their jobs if an agreement was not reached by Friday 3 p.m. ET.
Wireline workers, who work in phone, landline and cable services businesses in California, Nevada, and Connecticut, and DirecTV technicians across California and Nevada have also joined the strike. bit.ly/2riWfeB
"A strike is in no one's best interest, and it's baffling as to why union leadership would call one when we're offering terms in which our employees in these contracts ... will be better off financially," AT&T spokesman Marty Richter told Reuters.
"This involves less than 14 percent of our employees," Richter said.
The workers have demanded affordable benefits, fair wages and job security. They are also protesting the company outsourcing jobs.
In March, about 17,000 AT&T wireline workers in California and Nevada went on strike.
Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Anjali Athavaley in New York; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila