TORONTO _ Hourly workers at Chrysler, General Motors and Ford plants in Canada have voted overwhelmingly to go on strike to back their contract demands, according to their union.

The Canadian Auto Workers union says Chrysler workers have voted 99 per cent in favour of strike action if necessary.

The vote was almost as strong at General Motors, where 98 per cent backed strike action, and at Ford, where the vote was 97 per cent.

The voting was conducted at a number of meetings over the last week and this past weekend, CAW said in a news release.

``Our members support their bargaining committees and trust them to negotiate a fair settlement that shares in the success of the companies,'' union president Ken Lewenza said in statement.

Negotiations with the North American auto companies resume Monday in Toronto.

The union is looking to share in improving financial position of the Big Three after making concessions during the recession.

However, the automakers are looking to pare costs labour costs in Canada, which they say are higher than in the United States.

The last CAW strike was in 1996, against General Motors. The current contract expires Sept. 17 at 11:59 p.m.

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THE 10 FASTEST SHRINKING MANUFACTURING SECTORS IN CANADA Manufacturing jobs in Canada went into a steep decline even before the recent economic troubles began. According to StatsCan, employment has been in decline since 2004. Here are the 10 fastest-shrinking sectors from 2004 to 2008, when the recession began.
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  • Printing: 11,900 Jobs Lost Before Recession's Start

  • Paper: 13,200 Jobs Lost Before Recession's Start

  • Food: 14,000 Jobs Lost Before Recession's Start

  • Metals: 15,000 Jobs Lost Before Recession's Start

  • Furniture: 23,100 Jobs Lost Before Recession's Start

  • Machinery: 26,200 Jobs Lost Before Recession's Start

  • Plastics & Rubber: 35,300 Jobs Lost Before Recession

  • Clothing: 37,800 Jobs Lost Before Recession

  • Vehicles & Parts: 56,500 Jobs Lost Before Recession

  • Wood Products: 57,300 Jobs Lost Before Recession