Canadian National Railway Employee Reviews

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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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Horrible Management, Culture of Fear
Railway Car Technician (Current Employee) –  Surrey, BC6 October 2017
Terrible place to work with low morale. Management does nothing to change this. All they care about is finger pointing when things go wrong. They constantly create new policies to make work a terrible place to be.
Pros
You get paid on time
Cons
Management, Hours, Working Outdoors in all weather
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Productive, enjoyable and friendly
Stenographer (Former Employee) –  Moncton, NB, & 3 mos in Montreal on a project.6 October 2017
A typical day at work would be generally busy to very busy. I learned many skills improving self confidence overall, in personal and profession environments. In general most of management was understanding and fair.

Over the years I made many long lasting friendships that have lasted to the present. The most difficult part of the job was probably dealing with rumors of job security or lack there of.

I truly enjoyed working at the Canadian National Railway, due to the people, salary and benefits.
Pros
People, pension, benefits and salary.
Cons
Stress by rumors of lay off, normal stressers of work place environment.
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Recession Proof
Senior Financial Analyst (Former Employee) –  Toronto, ON24 September 2017
CN is a great company for individuals looking to work their 8 hours and go home. Highly motivated employees looking for a performance driven organization should stay away. Nepotism is very embedded in the culture.
Pros
Benefits
Cons
Poor succession planning and employee development
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Everything is poor!
Train man, Yard man, Conductor (Former Employee) –  Edmonton, AB21 September 2017
On call 24/7, imagine not being able to plan when to sleep, eat lr spwnd time with your family! Now imagine an employer that probably spent 90k training you and now will fire you for any stupid mistake? An employer that will invite you to break safety rules and then discipline you for doing what they told you to do.
Pros
Free paid training
Cons
Every freaking thing!
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Great for someone focused only on money
Locomotive Engineer (Former Employee) –  Edmonton, AB20 September 2017
running an engine itself is great, the introduction of technology is being heavily abused. The recent introduction to having an infrared camera with a lens the size of a canon slr 3ft from your face is too intrusive for me
Pros
large payouts/ job security
Cons
never know when you will get home
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Good company, but union is too involved.
Heavy Duty Locomotive Technician - Lead Hand (Former Employee) –  Grande Prairie, AB19 September 2017
It was a good company to work for, but being an ambitious employee i struggled working with LAZY union employees who didn't care. You show that you're a solid worker and management takes advantage of it. To get promoted into a non unionized supervisor position was extremely difficult and seemed very secretive/hidden. They also denied me a transfer to another province and went for hiring an outside member which is funny that the union couldn't help there...
Pros
Good wage, share package, pension, Overtime, wicked machines
Cons
Overtime, Union, lazy co-workers.
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Coordinator
Telecom Integration Consultant (Former Employee) –  Montréal, QC12 September 2017
CN is overall a nice place to work, the work life and personal life balace is fine, their salaries are competitive, and it is a place where you can learn
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Overall rating

3.4
Based on 377 reviews
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2.7Work/Life Balance
4.2Salary/Benefits
3.3Job Security/Advancement
2.7Management
3.0Culture