Canadian National Railway

Canadian National Railway Employee Reviews in Canada

Found 124 reviews matching the search
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
CN RAIL = Just a pay cheque, no quality of life EVER
Various (Former Employee) –  Winnipeg, MBJanuary 4, 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.
Was this review helpful?Yes39No3
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Don't expect a fair deal
Assistant Track Supervisor / Road Master (Former Employee) –  Vancouver, BCOctober 27, 2015
Although this company is trying to change it's corporate culture it is too mired in the past to make any real gains.
Senior Managers (generally those who have been there 30 years) have a vested interest in keeping costs down as they are financially rewarded for reducing expenditures. The result is a lack of staff and equipment to make the job functional. It is like pulling teeth trying to get the proper tools for the job.
Additionally the management style is stuck in the 1970's. Very shouty. shouty and heavy into a blame culture. The first and most valuable lesson to learn is "trust no-one" (a direct quote from my regional chief).
If you do not want work/life balance and feel you deserve to be punished for things out of your control than apply here.
If you don't want to be on call 24 -7 and want to be able to sleep at night, look elsewhere.
Pros
Excellent benefits package
Cons
Poor people Management and a non-existent work life balance
Was this review helpful?Yes36No4
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
hard job on personal life
Conductor (Former Employee) –  Edmonton, ABJanuary 13, 2016
getting called 2 hours before the start of your shift, never knowing when exactly you are going to be working next. Learned how to control a train and run the train from point a to b.

Management likes things done a certain way. always worried about getting the job done on time even if it may not be the safest or right way to do things.

co-workers were awesome to work with on a daily basis. always there to help you if you needed help.

hardest part is the late night shifts when you are not expecting to go to work and then you get called with little to no rest.
Pros
great pay and benefits
Cons
on call all the time hard to plan a life around work.
Was this review helpful?Yes27No3
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Get in quick or you'll be on off shifts forever!
Railcar Inspector (Current Employee) –  Vancouver, BCDecember 22, 2015
Hired at a good time, didn't see too many off shifts other than my apprenticeship.

Decent overtime and stat pay, except you're expected to work all the stats....benefits are not bad and pension seems good.

Work with some great guys,there are times when work is great and can actually be fun. Some bad blood around, and people just waiting to retire.

Some upper management just wants productivity and doesn't seem to care much about anyone under them.

No preventative maintenance done to our work trucks, they only see a shop once something breaks down, horrible road conditions which makes for quick break downs of vehicles.
Pros
Co workers, different positions to bid, the pay, fast paced
Cons
Work in all weather conditions, all the time, with no sick days. Shift work.
Was this review helpful?Yes23No2
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Tough work environment, decent pay
Conductor Trainee (Former Employee) –  Saskatoon, SKDecember 6, 2015
A tough work environment, decent pay for those that can hack it. Long unpredictable on call schedules, lots of out of town long hauls over nights. Rough outside at night in winter conditions no matter how many gloves you wear when riding on boxcars. Decent pay and benefits, management vs union attitude though.
Pros
Pay, benefits
Cons
Long hours, unpredictable shifts, outside winter work.
Was this review helpful?Yes6No2
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Challenging and highly demanding
Assistant Track Supervisor (Current Employee) –  Toronto, ONNovember 25, 2015
Operating 24 hours a day, the railway doesn't allow for much work/life balance. Safety is critical, and there are severe consiquneces for mistakes. Engineering is extremely complex and critical to safe operating practices. Supervision of Unionized employees isn't difficult, however the rare disiciplinary action that may be required does add tension to an already stressful job. On the whole, the Unionized employees are among the finest and most professional in the industry. Safe, quick, and intelligent.

The best part of the job is in knowing that your inspections and ability to spot defects is preventing derailments, keeping people safe and you're saving lives.
Pros
Good salary and expenses. Company vehicle.
Cons
Long hours in all weather. Forced relocation.
Was this review helpful?Yes14No3
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Ok place to work if you don't want a life
Labourer/Tractor Operator (Former Employee) –  TorontoOctober 9, 2015
The people i worked with were great. The management treats you like you are a robot. If you call in sick you are punished and frowned upon. You will have absolutely no life working here as you will most likely be on nights with two week days off for at least the first 10 years of service.
Pros
good pay, good benefits, job security
Cons
Terrible shifts and off days, no work life, just a number, no sick days
Was this review helpful?Yes17No7
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
No opportunity for growth but well paid
IT projects & implementation specialist (Former Employee) –  Montréal, QCSeptember 25, 2015
A work place with old management style and a culture of management fighting unionized workers... So expect little career progress but fairly good compensation.

People go home at 5pm, so good work/life balance... Good place for lifers who just want to a job to pay the bills, then retire.

Good job security as long as you do your job.
Pros
well paid
Cons
no career development
Was this review helpful?Yes13No4
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Amazing time and taking care of
Contractor at CN Rail. Operator of a skid steer (Former Employee) –  Winnipeg, MBMarch 17, 2016
Cleared snow in a industrail railway system. Learned to work with multiple teams. Learned how to be safe working with heavy equipment and trains. When you worked long hours Foreman bought the workers food. Co-workers are great to work with. Everyone working together to get the job done. Hardest part is having to deal with break downs with equipment. The co-workers were the best!
Pros
People and Work
Cons
Long hours
Was this review helpful?Yes3No5
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Independence and Ownership
Assistant Track Supervisor (Current Employee) –  Canora, SKJuly 10, 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
Was this review helpful?Yes1No
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
good work and stable job with the right amount of seniority.
Conductor (Current Employee) –  Capreol, ONJanuary 27, 2016
- Over all a day at work is somewhat challenging and rewarding when working in the yard and have deadlines to meet.
- Long hauls are a nice break from the daily grind but also come with some stressors.
- Preparations and communication amongst the crew is typically very well established.
- A wide range of experience can be found within terminals, which leads to new practices and knowledge.
- Most enjoyable part of this job is the time off between shifts.
Pros
good pay and time off
Cons
long hours and unpredicatble
Was this review helpful?Yes12No4
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Run, run away!
Electrical Apprentice Edmonton, Alta (Former Employee) –  Edmonton, ABMarch 14, 2016
By far the most dysfunctional workplace I have ever been a part of. Also by far the most unhappy, depressing place (diesel shop edmonton) I have ever worked at. Upper, upper management is aware how bad things are but do nothing about it.

Unless you are desperate, I would not recommend working for CN. Better yet, talk to some present employees before you take any position with them.
Was this review helpful?Yes26No4
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
A typical day at work
Trainmaster (Former Employee) –  Saskatoon, SKDecember 7, 2015
It was a career I enjoyed but the hours required to perform my job was taxing being up by 5 if you got to sleep at all preparing for multiple conference calls and preparing your days traffic and tasks. It was literally 24/7 but a very fulfilling career none the less.
Pros
Salary and benefits
Cons
Lifestyle
Was this review helpful?Yes8No5
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
It's an interesting place to work and there is a lot of diversity with this job.
Conductor (Current Employee) –  Saskatoon, SKNovember 12, 2015
CN is for the most part a decent place to work, with all of its pros and cons. However, It would be good to implement some new ideas, maybe give CN a fresh outlook on things. I'd like to stay with CN till I retire but getting laid off all of the time is making that difficult. Not having enough income to survive due to company layoffs is very stressful.
I'd like a better way for employees to be able to look things up in cats or on eportal. When it comes to their current job or when it comes to finding a new one or for anything for that matter.
Pros
Paid schooling, room for growth, company shares, good pay
Cons
Long hours, high expectations and low reciprocity, difficult managers, absence of a good training program, unfair reprocutions for first time minor mistakes.
Was this review helpful?Yes8No8
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Wprked there for 19 years. Experienced alot and grew with the company.
Train Movement Clerk (Former Employee) –  Edmonton, ABSeptember 10, 2015
In my many years with CN, I grew with the company, learned alot about the railway industry. Excellent benefits. I worked in two parts of the railway, fiirst was the Revenue Management, learnt how to apply payments from customers, deposits, data entry. The second part was a Train Movement Clerk which was building the trains by watching cameras and applying the switching on computers and sending to the Engineers.
Pros
Benefit program.
Was this review helpful?Yes5No11
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Best to work elsewhere
Supervisor (Former Employee) –  Surrey, BCJune 18, 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
Was this review helpful?Yes9No1
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
They don't practice what they preach
N/A (Former Employee) –  Montréal, QCOctober 22, 2015
Absolutely "NO" growth opportunity.. They don't practice what they preach. eXEXCS MAKING THE BIG BUCKS AND MIDDLE CLASS (REGULAR EMPLOYEES, WHO ARE DOING MOST OF THE JOB) SUFFER
Pros
competitive salary $$
Cons
Politics, "NO" growth opportunity
Was this review helpful?Yes26No2
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Great place to work
Machinist/Millwright (Former Employee) –  Moncton, NB, St. John's, Nfld, Toronto, ON.May 31, 2016
Worked rebuilding locomotives. Welded when it was required. Learned a lot and still love learning new jobs. Management didn't have to spend much time around me because I am a self starter and love new challenges. The hardest part I find about any job is going home because I love working. And I love working in a group environment because I am a team player.
Pros
Machinist/H.D. Mechanic /Red Seal Millwright
Cons
worked regular shifts and overtime when I could get it
Was this review helpful?YesNo7
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Payed well with exemplary benefits and investment opportunity
Freight Conductor (Former Employee) –  Prince George, BCJune 10, 2015
Very safety driven company as there are no minor injuries when you are dealing with trains and heavy equipment, days range from 8 to 16 hours depending on division and willingness to work, management could use a makeover but many were helpful and friendly, co-workers were awesome, friendly, helpful and upbeat. Hardest part of the job was being called at all hours to cover some other conductor who had called in sick or unavailable, and being away from your family for long stretches. Physically demanding job requiring a lot of upper body strength used for throwing switches and climbing up and around train cars(think monkey bars as a kid for 8 hours a day) with breaks sometimes not coming till the last hour of your work day due to heavy work load and priority of work. I liked the people i worked with, 99% had awesome attitudes and worked hard for the sake of an easier stretch at the end of the day, pay was great, benefits were great, shares in company were great, i would do the job again as it was both literally and figuratively a breath of fresh air.
Pros
Good pay, great people, strong company
Cons
long hours, difficult management system
Was this review helpful?Yes13No8
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Don't do it, It's a trap!
Conductor (Former Employee) –  Prince George, BCFebruary 28, 2016
The pay is great, the lifestyle is okay if you have the right seniority.
Upper management displaced from reality, manipulating budgets for own personal gain.
Very low employee morality.
Was this review helpful?Yes25No1

Overall rating

3.3
Based on 165 reviews
5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
2.7
Salary/Benefits
4.3
Job Security/Advancement
3.3
Management
2.7
Culture
2.9

Canadian National Railway Reviews by Location