Canadian National Railway

Canadian National Railway Employee Reviews

Found 151 reviews matching the search
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Fast paced and very important industry, your time and work invested in this job can have big and positive impacts
Track Supervisor (Former Employee) –  Ontario29 November 2016
-Tough working hour, weekends, nights, stat holidays;
-Learned about the industry inside and out, fascinating industry
-Management tends to latch on to good employees making career progression difficult for your intended direction
Pros
Excellent Compensation and benefits
Cons
Sporadic working hours
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Everything is horrible except the pay
Operator/Labourer (Former Employee) –  Alberta8 October 2016
STAY AWAY!
- the management is utterly the worst I have ever experienced. They have NO KNOWLEDGE IN EVEN WHAT THEY ARE SUPERVISING. They praise you with ridicule are demeaning and try to find a reason to fire you. Coming in everyday to a demanding job to walk on pins and needles worried about being fired because most of the management are on power trips is the most stressful work atmosphere ever. They have quotas they have to reach each month to rate a certain amount of people negatively.
-management is more concerned about their yearly bonuses then the welfare of their employees.
-you constantly have to be worried about not IF but WHEN you'll be laid off.
- The hours are ridiculous (if you have a family don't expect to see them and don't expect to have a life). You can be on shift work and two hour call outs. No choice but to work every weekend and holiday unless you been there for 20years.
-you wonder why the pay is decent because if it wasn't nobody would work there and THATS A FACT.
I'd much rather take a pay cut then ever go back to this place.
Pros
Decent pay
Cons
Ridiculous hours, stressful atmosphere, horrible and incompetent management, absolutely no life
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Was a fun place to work one time.
Car mechanic: halifax, ns (Former Employee) –  Halifax, NS8 February 2017
Put in 40 years and last 10 were the worst. Incompetent front line management that seemed to take pride in making life miserable. When I retired from CN not one person from the company came to see me off or say good bye or thank me for my service. Shame on you CN. First thirty were fun and good and you took pride in your work. It all went the last date of my career in Car Shop Halifax.
Pros
Your work mates were like family
Cons
Uncaring, Incompetent front line management who went out of their way to cause friction with employees.
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Great place long hours abused by management
Railway conductor (Former Employee) –  Edmonton, AB19 February 2017
Worked here three years as a conductor. Amazing pay for what you do . Management does not care for you nor is under pressure by upper management to beat down on the lower employees. Could be better if the guys at the top were not a giant boys club. No room for advancement they hire people off the street to manage a railway. Ex . McDonalds manager telling 35yesr employees they are wrong when it comes to certain thing s in the railway
Pros
Great pay . Good holiday amounts
Cons
Seniority based . Poor management
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Independence and Ownership
Assistant Track Supervisor (Current Employee) –  Canora, SK10 July 2016
Through the course of my career between both railroads, I have had the opportunity to develop. Beginning as a track laborer with CP, growing into a track foreman, then accepting an assistant track supervisor job in 2013. I enjoyed both the independence of the job as well as the team work between my management team. Assigning, and prioritizing tasks for work crews was a daily activity. Track inspections in adverse weather conditions was at times challenging, but rewarding knowing I had a role that made a difference to the industry and the company.

My relationships between, union, non union employees, from engineering/maintenance employees, transportation, and operational employees was of great significance to me. I will always cherish those relations.
Pros
independence
Cons
weather, materials and employee shortage
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Committed to success and organizational grown
Senior Mechanical Manager (Current Employee) –  Winnipeg, MB24 November 2016
Throughout my career with CN, I've been fortunate to have the ability to extensively grown within the organization, as well as expand my knowledge and expertise through a vast array of in house management and transportation courses.
Pros
The opportunity for advancement
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Good job with great coworkers, good pay
Conductor (Former Employee) –  Edmonton, AB6 October 2016
I enjoy working at CN rail with great people and good wages and benefits. During my time at CN it seemed like Manegment was out to over discipline transportation employees, they even had a budget for it. It made it hard to work with them, when all we wanted was to get along and go home safe. I'm looking for a new career with good wages and room for advancement.
Pros
wages
Cons
no schedule
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Top Heavy Company
Prefer Not To Tell (Current Employee) –  Montréal, QC5 January 2017
Always low staff so job/life balance is not that great and the railroad is a 24/7 365 day operation so the chances you will be called in is high.

Its a very top heavy company to many managers things never get done because of it. By the time a problem reaches the top guy, it's been filtered so many times nothing ever changes. And that applies to when you do a good or bad job. However, bad jobs have a way of making it to the top a little faster.

Moreover, don't forget its all about who you know and which rear end you kiss, hard work does not get you ahead in this company you have been warned.
Pros
Good Pay
Cons
Terrible Management
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Tons of money, Zero Life
Freight conductor (Former Employee) –  Alberta11 July 2016
was a freight conductor for two years.You more or less just slept or went to work. Layoffs are common and expect to move around the country anywhere from 1 week to 7 weeks at a time. Hard life to live and not for everyone. Great money and benefits if you can stick it out.
Pros
Good pay
Cons
Long hours, management is out to get you, management is as knowledgeable as a rock
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Supervisor
Mechanical Supervisor (Current Employee) –  Kamloops, BC11 July 2016
Long hours are required of management. Pay is not competitive. Opportunity for advancement if you relocate. Ok benefits. Support is good from middle management.
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Best to work elsewhere
Supervisor (Former Employee) –  Surrey, BC18 June 2016
Employees are shown little to no respect. Money is good but NO time off or YOUR FIRED.

I learned that it is an American owned and run company despite the name. Hardest part was trying but never meeting the unachievable set goals.

No one can be trust and they only hire people with few skills so they can keep you off balance with threats of being fired.

I did have skills and left...feel sorry for the others that have to stick it out for a pay cheque.
Pros
Good wage but thats where it ends
Cons
Bully type management
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Good job.
Conductor (Former Employee) –  Capreol, ON27 May 2016
Good all around job, job security wasn't the greatest. On call 24/7, no schedule, money was good. Management was good, seemed to show interest in work we were doing, co-workers all worked together with very little friction, hardest part of job would be the hours, most enjoyable is the end result.
Pros
Good benefits, salary, work
Cons
layoffs.
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Terrible Management but great company otherwise
HEAVY EQUIPMENT OPERATOR (Former Employee) –  Mackenzie, BC8 April 2016
The benefits were alright, the pay was great, and the people I worked with were awesome. Management, however, was not. The supervisors would literally hide in bushes or on a nearby hill with binoculars or fly in helicopters to catch their employees doing things wrong. It was ridiculous to see the lengths they'd go to strike the fear of being fired into people even though it was laughably easy to stay on with the Union.
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good work and stable job with the right amount of seniority.
QA Analyst (Former Employee) –  Quebec6 July 2016
CN is a fast paced business and you are always on the go. A lot of the times I would sign in at home and continue to work. The customers are demanding but if you have a good relationship with them it all works out. Lots of staff to contact for assistance, benefits were great and pay was amazing to start.
Pros
Good benefits
Cons
long hours, unionized work.
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Face paced work, time line to get trains build and out
GROUNDSMAN/TRACTOR TRAILER OPERATOR (Former Employee) –  Brampton, ON6 July 2016
I found working at CN Intermodal very fun and challenging in its own ways. Its a non stop always moving environment with many challenges. Safety is #1 for everyone
Pros
great pay, benefits, perks, pension
Cons
Management needs improvement
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Hard place to work
Assistant Track Supervisor (Current Employee) –  Regina, SK8 August 2016
Hard place to work, great rewards if you are willing to sacrifice time for money.

The benefits do not outweigh the cons in this company. hard place to make a living
Pros
they pay for all expenses
Cons
long hours, little appreciation
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Negative work culture, good co workers
Diesel Engine Mechanic Apprentice (Former Employee) –  Edmonton, AB5 February 2017
Shift work is required, shop runs 24/7- main reason for leaving. Very poor work culture, immediate co workers were overall good to work with. Shop could be cleaner overall.
Pros
Great RRSP plan
Cons
Shift work 24/7, do not send mechanics for apprentice training
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decent, no work life balance
Freight Conductor (Former Employee) –  Jasper, AB13 February 2017
worth it, good job, decent crews, management can be a bit roughshod and the hours can be brutal. overall, if you want to make money fast,, yeah, if you want a decent home life or have children no
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Employee safety number one priority
Intermodal Lead Hand Operations (Former Employee) –  Winnipeg, MB8 February 2017
CN allows you to take control of your career. Service commitment to customers is strongly supported through employee performance tracking and development.
Pros
Above average wage grade
Cons
Various shifts
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CN RAIL = Just a pay cheque, no quality of life EVER
Various (Former Employee) –  Winnipeg, MB4 January 2016
Everyone talks about how great the pay is when working for this railway... however this company HAS to provide a good wage because otherwise nobody would want to work here. Ever.
Advice: STAY AWAY.

The main problem appears to be very bad/inexperienced management with front line Supervisors having zero experience. Since very few long-term employees want to accept a management position the company is reduced to hiring "off the street". This unfortunately amounts to bad decisions day in and day out with blame for errors or low productivity unfairly being directed to the unionized employees.

With over 30+ years of service with this company I can honestly say that my co-workers were great but the disappointing management has ruined a once great company.
Cons
Long hours, shift work your entire career, no family life. Ever.
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Overall rating

3.3
Based on 197 reviews
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Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
2.7
Salary/Benefits
4.3
Job Security/Advancement
3.2
Management
2.6
Culture
2.9

Canadian National Railway Reviews by Location