Ford Canada workers have voted 92.7% in favour of a new contract recently hammered out between the company and the Canadian Auto Workers union.

The union said over half of the 14,000 affected members voted at the weekend.

The new contract gives Ford workers a structured pay increase over several years, various benefit improvements and agrees a process of job retention when a minivan plant closes in 2004.

Union attention now turns to settling the one remaining Big Three employment pact - with managers of Canadian DaimlerChrysler operations.

These should be interesting not least because DC reportedly has said it intends to stick with plans to close a van plant.

The CAW will reportedly set a strike deadline as early as today.