Canadian National Railway

Canadian National Railway Employee Reviews in Canada

Found 119 reviews matching the search
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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.
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great work for the independant person with skills
locomotive engineer (Former Employee) –  Edmonton, ABDecember 31, 2015
Great job, very demanding hours. on call 24/7/365. up to 18 hours per day. Enjoyed my job. Very large turnover in management made all employees to be very good at their positions.
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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.
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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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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good pay and pension
Freight Conductor (Current Employee) –  Sarnia, ONNovember 8, 2015
The pay and pension is good but the work is unstable and CN doesnt care abouth their employees. The hours are unpredictable and you work in any kind of weather.
Pros
pay
Cons
hours and instability
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7/365 busy. Always something to do.
Heavy Equipment Operator (Current Employee) –  Brampton, ONOctober 29, 2015
The most enjoyable part of my job was operating state of the art Railway Transportation Heavy Equipment. Always something to do, so the day flew by. Plenty of opportunity for growth.
Pros
Opportunity for growth
Cons
Dangerous work environment
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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
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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
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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
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Great
Locomotive Engineer (Former Employee) –  Hornepayne, ONOctober 5, 2015
Working for CN has been great. It has provided me the opportunity to take on new challenges and work with amazing people.
Pros
Travelling across Canada
Cons
Very demanding at times
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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
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Productive and fun place top work
Tractor Trailer Operator (Former Employee) –  Toronto, OntarioSeptember 24, 2015
Very productive and fun place to work with great people. A lot of room for an employee to grow with great training to go along with it.
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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.
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Challenging job with lots of responsibilities
REL SUPERINTENDENT, REL ASST Superintendent (Former Employee) –  Surrey, BCSeptember 8, 2015
The jobs I had were very high level and stressful managing union staff both in office and on the ground example train crews. I would plan my day according to what has transpired over the night and come up with a recovery if needed or plan the days work for all people I was supervising.
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Good money, pretty cool job. No personal Life
Freight Train Conductor (Former Employee) –  Edmonton, ABAugust 6, 2015
I only got to spend a year with CN before being laid off. In my time though, I found the job to be pretty cool. They don't however promote any sort of personal life, even though they tell you they do during the hiring process. If you're single and want to make a lot of money in only a few years, than this is the job for you. Family person? Not so much.
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Great Organization
Garage Supervisor Fleet Services (Current Employee) –  Concord, ONAugust 2, 2015
Great place to work, believe highly in training and support for Front Line Supervisors. Management also very supportive and helpful. Huge Focus on Safety.
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Do not take this job if you want a Trade
Heavy Duty Mechanic Apprentice / DEM (Current Employee) –  Edmonton, ABJuly 15, 2015
Regardless of their recruitment you will not get a Red Seal Trade.

I came in with a Blue book and a lot of hours, and when i pushed for school after being promised it during my interview they refused. Even though they had signed my blue book.

Their DEM program is limited to a select few provinces and not in Alberta (where I reside). DEM is not recognized here at all and never will be.

The guys in the shop are awesome save for a select few white hats, But the upper management is horrible.

Yes they provide tools, but good luck getting them.

The Union is useless, good luck getting anywhere with them. Example; Their safety reps have never taken a safety course nor do they know about contacting OHS in the event of problems from management. Their Trades and Apprenticeship reps do not hold tickets nor have they ever picked up a phone to contact the Apprenticeship Board. Its just bad.

But again the people there are awesome to work with.

Great experience though besides the aforementioned, but CN is a very pale shadow compared to its former glory, now that it is for all intensive purposes an American company now.
Pros
Great people
Cons
Everything else
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Overall rating

3.3
Based on 156 reviews
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