Canadian National Railway

Canadian National Railway Employee Reviews

Found 151 reviews matching the search
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hard job on personal life
Conductor (Former Employee) –  Edmonton, AB13 January 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.
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Get in quick or you'll be on off shifts forever!
Railcar Inspector (Current Employee) –  Vancouver, BC22 December 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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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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Challenging and highly demanding
Assistant Track Supervisor (Current Employee) –  Toronto, ON25 November 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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Don't expect a fair deal
Assistant Track Supervisor / Road Master (Former Employee) –  Vancouver, BC27 October 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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Big Changes try and keep up or you will be cut
Mechanical Supervisor (Current Employee) –  Vancouver, BC2 December 2016
day would start by sifting thru 121 emails and then running out the door. As a supervisor you are not given breaks you are required to oversee up to 20 people and if something goes wrong they ask WHY you were not looking at the issue even if it was unforeseeable.

overall it is not bad if you are not wanting to see your family and friends.
Pros
Retirment plan if you can make it
Cons
Read the Peter Principle it explains how managment is working
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good pay, no team moral
locamotive conductor/yard forman/switchman (Current Employee) –  Ontario12 November 2016
No drive todo your best. Most of the time you put your life on the line evwryday so managment can collect a bonus. If the shareholders, and the public knew how they treated there employees. They would be discusted. Harassed on a daily bassis. Bullying and intimidation on a daily basis. They try to hide behind safety. But if you are behind they rushyou by following you around and bothering you on the radio. Horrible work enviorment. I love what i do, i just hate the people ihave to deal with.
Pros
pay
Cons
horrible managment
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Union enviroment, many good people, excellent training, very hands on, but also the most beautiful scenery you will ever see!
CN Maintenance / Ambassador for hiring (Current Employee) –  Alberta14 January 2017
Excellent over all. Manual labor, great training, many great people to work with, Union, with a chance to explore and work in many of the most beautiful areas anywhere in Canada, if you wish to relocate anywhere! Great for someone who appreciates the beauty of nature and breathing clean air!
Pros
Beautiful scenery, very hands on and Union.
Cons
Not many, lol.
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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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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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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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Demanding
Assistant Track Supervisor- Engineering (Current Employee) –  Edmonton, AB18 January 2017
In this front line supervisor role it is an extremely demanding role. You are involved in pretty much every aspect you can think of, from budgets to project management
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Tough work environment, decent pay
Conductor Trainee (Former Employee) –  Saskatoon, SK6 December 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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Terrible team lead
Software Engineer (Current Employee) –  Montréal, QC7 February 2017
terrible, mean team lead,
micromanagement,
very lazy and sloppy work environment,
If you stand at port of HQ, there are continuous people coming in and out to buy coffee, shopping, etc.
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Confusion and no reasoning
A mechanic (Former Employee) –  Kamloops, BC17 November 2016
Management so out of touch it's painful look for something else . Save yourself from losing touch with family and friends. Will never apply or recommend this company to anyone
Pros
Nothing
Cons
Everything
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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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Life sucks, money good
Conductor (Current Employee) –  Melville, SK31 October 2016
Company is large so many jobs available. Conductor work leaves you with no life but the money is tolerable.

Management grinds you to the bone with little appreciation.
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Ok place to work if you don't want a life
Labourer/Tractor Operator (Former Employee) –  Toronto9 October 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 place to work and well compensated
train conductor (Current Employee) –  Calgary, AB28 October 2016
Great place to work. Fun, interesting. the management - union thing was pretty stressful but other than that I loved the job
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No opportunity for growth but well paid
IT projects & implementation specialist (Former Employee) –  Montréal, QC25 September 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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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

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