Canadian National Railway Employee Reviews

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Great company, horrible management!
Crew Dispatcher (Former Employee) –  Edmonton, AB13 December 2017
Great company but the worst management you could ever work for! Stay away from Crew Dispatching because the management will eat you raw! no work life balance. The only thing good was the pay and thats about it!
Pros
money and benefits are amazing!
Cons
management, work/life balance
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Efficient company
Electrical/mechanical Supervisor (Current Employee) –  Vaughan, ON9 December 2017
A great career choice with many departments to chose from, from mechanical, electrical, engineering to transportation and more. CN is in the top 100 employers.
Pros
Too many
Cons
Shift work
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Not ideal for mechanic at system engineering
Mechanic (Former Employee) –  Winnipeg, MB8 December 2017
Buttweld area is un healthy, lots of smoke coming from the machine, environment and the machine is dusty and dirty, not good to inhale those fumes coming out of the machine. Lots of outdoor repairs too and it's not good during winter time. Pay is not great, lots of companies out there that pay more if you have a red seal. Older mechanic do less and will take advantage of the new hire.
Pros
Pension only if you start at early age, good only for laborer where they can get high hourly rate compare to other company
Cons
30% only covered for safety shoes, no tool allowance, dirty place and outdoor work at extreme temperature, not enough time for family
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great pay, rough lifestyle
Freight conductor (Former Employee) –  Winnipeg, MB7 December 2017
pay is the only benefit, with a gr10 education you can easily make 100k. 24/7 on call lifestlye is very rough, management is always looking for a way to punish you weather you did anything wrong or not. 21st century company operating like its 1850.
Pros
pay
Cons
24/7 on call, bad management - union relationship
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CN is a great job
Assistant track manager (Current Employee) –  river sub3 December 2017
i would show up to work in my work truck hop on the track and inspected the track for 60 miles, you have to get off the track in between trains, mark bad areas, make sure crews are fixing the problems, clean snow from switches, keep inventory on weld, and rail defects, watch for other traffic at crossings, make sure lights work at crossings, ensure everyone is working safely, order materials if short, budget so we aren't spending too much, time management, make sure each job is entered into computer properly and has a charge number. ive learnt that I have a lot of responsibility and I can work under pressure to meet deadlines. Its a high pace high demand work with a lot of quality in these high pressure work projects. Managing time was the hardest with social life work life plus all the different work projects it was hard to balance everything to make everything work smoothly. I love the out doors and seeing the country side and meeting alt new people was really enjoyable
Pros
job suecurity, good benefits, goodpay
Cons
phone never stop ringing, short staff
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"Highly unrecommended"
Gang (Former Employee) –  Mb./Ont1 December 2017
In all honesty which can apply virtuosly towards all manners of review without one's inate ability to harbour ill-will this employer falls far short of any recommendation. The training program offered is typical of a bait and switch one in its content. The expectations are solely geared towards those chosen ones and to fall out of favour or question authority is strictly ill advised. The gang environment is just that with preference shown in a very brutal subordinate manner. The union is complicit in all manners of speaking due to the overwhelming burden they carry and complaints or attempts to seak redress in an efficent or conciliatory fashion/manner are met with a stone wall. Make attempts to communicate with upper management or head office and "you" will be redirected to no mans land.
Pros
Free Lunches
Cons
Unprofessional and Disrespectful Environment (Animals are treated better)
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Poorly managed, bitter employees
Truck Driver Equipment Operator/Labourer (Former Employee) –  BC29 November 2017
There is too large a divide between unionized employees and management so communication is almost non existent. the only types of people working on the ground are the bitter old timers or the new young ambitious people who get constantly cut down so they're exhausted. there is no recognition for a job well done. Hard to keep a positive outlook and actually want to go to work every day.

The pay is good, the opportunities are endless, the job is secure, its hard to get fired for good and its an interesting industry
Cons
No sick days
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Not For Me
Signals and Communications Apprentice (Current Employee) –  Winnipeg, MB19 November 2017
Great pay and benefits, but you pay for it with time away from home, and the possibility of being indefinitely forced into a position up to 1500 km away from home
Pros
pay, stock program
Cons
poor management, away from home, forced to relocate
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amazing career opportunity
Heavy Duty Mechanic Apprentice (Former Employee) –  Winnipeg, MB14 November 2017
great fast paced work environment, new mechanical challenges every day with a top notch staff with the best in tooling and machinery in the industry!!
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Would recommend this job for stay local job and decent living wage. wage
Car Mechanic (Former Employee) –  Kamloops Division Yale Land District, BC13 November 2017
It has been a good place to work. The management end is very short staffed locally in the dept. This led to an undesirable work/life balance for potential 1st line supervisors with a short staff/huge workload to deal with. As a result....promotion from within for skilled trade workers as not been attractive so mostly office types are hired from outside or inexperienced apprentices resulting in an ineffective and unqualified management team. This coupled with a "generation purge" of experienced to new employee has resulted in a very small Journeyman to Apprentice ratio. The organization end of things has gone greatly down hill due this and as a result outside contractors are starting to scoop the work up.....typically paying lower wages with poor or non-existant benefits. Things are looking up as there is now more local management on board gaining experience and the young guys are catching up. Hopefully not too late to keep this great employment oportunity alive. If you wish to live and work local....don't mind night shift, physical work an the elements. ...definately give this a try.
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Good for some
Conductor (Former Employee) –  British Columbia10 November 2017
I MUST admit I wanted to keep this job because my Dad and brother worked there and it held a lot of memories but they have some weird unwritten rules along with all the written one's you have to know, no fighting, but you can say the worst things you can think of to your work mates and yes expect to get bullied full time, and if they decide to shrink the work force you will be fired for the slightest thing I saw good men get fired for minor infractions and drunks pedifiles and extreme slackers never even get noticed. A great place to work apparently for old NHL hockey players but the hours are very very intense and the older it gets the harder it is, would I go back ...............nope I love to sleep at night :)
Pros
You can be really stupid and a slacker
Cons
You will be working with really stupid people and slackers, Im no smart guy but I worked with a conductor alchoholic who couldnt read or write
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Interesting and challenging
Conductor (Current Employee) –  Winnipeg, MB9 November 2017
I'll give you the honest scoop. Railroading is a tough lifestyle. Whether you're working in the yard or on the road. Unless you have enough seniority to hold a yard shift with scheduled days off. Otherwise once your booked rest is over (you can book up to 24 hours rest after a shift) you have to be prepared to answer your phone at any time. And there is an inherent risk of serious injury or death when you're working with equipment as massive as a train. That's why the pay and benefits are so good. And it's not grunt work. Training involves hitting the books. You need 100% on your signals final. And there's 119 signals to learn. You then need 90% on your rules exam. And some of the rules are a little mind bending. That being said, I don't want to discourage anyone. You'll receive excellent paid training. The instructors are great. And like any job you'll have good days and bad days. And you'll work with some good people and some bad people. As for the culture, CN is 👍. So far they've treated me welI. I previously worked for CP and the management-employee relationship was very adversarial. Morale was rock bottom there. I'm much happier at CN. I'm not a CN cheerleader, I'm just telling it like it is.
Pros
Pay and benefits
Cons
Irregular schedule, exposure to the elements
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People are down to earth
On-boarding Supervisor (Former Employee) –  Saskatoon, SK6 November 2017
Welcome new hires; Act as Ambassador for CN; Resource to regional Officers and provide Support with OBEE; Reach out to current employees. Orchestrate and participated in engaging employees Social Events; address issues related to retention; reports; Train the Trainer presentation; additional administrative duties.
Pros
great salary
Cons
on call/ long hours
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draining. most people have several ex wives because of the job
Conductor (Former Employee) –  Edmonton, AB2 November 2017
Absolutely awful. Constantly try to fire you right after you get hired. Get pulled in for statements for taking sick days. Every terminal is different but edmonon is the absolute worst
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head production manager Ontario Cocaine user
Heavey Equipment Operator (Current Employee) –  Toronto, ON27 October 2017
First week could not believe I caught Head production manager doing cocaine in his truck! Management yelling at you cursing at men. Bad company a lot of older managers staying around helping family move (fly) up the ladder.
Pros
easy money work 3 hours get paid for 12
Cons
management WOW!!!
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not the best place to work
Apprentice Railcar Mechanic (Current Employee) –  Concord, ON12 October 2017
good money and benefits no weekends or holidays work and life balance is not great but you won't be out of work not a bad place to work but not the best
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Loved my job
Administrative Assistant (Former Employee) –  Fort McMurray, AB11 October 2017
The only reason I resigned from CN in Fort McMurray was due to the fact my husband had to relocate back to Ontario.....otherwise I still would be there working.
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Great salary and work
Railway Conductor (Former Employee) –  Calgary, AB11 October 2017
If you like working outdoors railway conductor is a great job. Great pay and benefits. Lots of opportunities to move up in the company. Hardest part of the job was probably the on call work.
Pros
Salary, benefits, work environment
Cons
work schedule
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high risk
Conductor (Former Employee) –  Saskatoon, SK9 October 2017
high risk environment, you have to be aware of your surrounding all the time, no life balance at it because you don't have a fixed shift most of the time
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production manager
Supervisor (Former Employee) –  Vaughan, ON9 October 2017
you must ready to put you CN ahead of your family and i wasn't ..you shouldn't force people write more then they want to when its a volunteer thats all i have to say
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Overall rating

3.4
Based on 356 reviews
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Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
2.7
Salary/Benefits
4.2
Job Security/Advancement
3.3
Management
2.7
Culture
3.0