Canadian National Railway

Canadian National Railway Employee Reviews

Found 143 reviews matching the search
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CN was a very innovative fast paced envirnoment
Customer Service Representative (Former Employee) –  Brampton, ON29 August 2016
Dealt with customers daily both assigned and through the 1-800 line
Customer Service department was a great team and dealt with the unpredictable world of railroading as problems arose.
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Many fond memories while there.
Assistant Track Supervisor (Former Employee) –  Ontario12 May 2016
Generally a good employer, and good people to work with. Long work days, working days off, stress and a change of the culture would be cons.
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good place
conductor trainee (Former Employee) –  Biggar, SK7 September 2016
I thought it was great to work there I got layed off from there and moved elsewhere but overall not a bad place very nice people and they help you if need
Pros
nice employees
Cons
away from home long time
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Run, run away!
Electrical Apprentice Edmonton, Alta (Former Employee) –  Edmonton, AB14 March 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.
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Great pay, good job but they own you.
Conductor (Former Employee) –  Toronto, ON24 May 2013
I worked there over one summer as a conductor trainee. From the first encounter with a trainmaster, I got the feeling I was disposable. I was fired in the fall for the actions of another employee that they mistook as me. No warning and no investigation to my alleged demeanor. My many pleas to the company and union fell on deaf ears despite irrefutable evidence. Every employee at CN can be replaced and they make you know it. Even 30+ year veterans get the boot when they don't tow the company line. Just a warning, never take them lightly, and never give them anything to burn you with. As many in the company say; they'll spend one thousands to train you and the next 30 years trying to fire you.
Pros
Great pay and benefits, good coworkers, interesting work
Cons
Immature management, no job security, highly irregular hours
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good work and stable job with the right amount of seniority.
Conductor (Current Employee) –  Capreol, ON27 January 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
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Payed well with exemplary benefits and investment opportunity
Freight Conductor (Former Employee) –  Prince George, BC10 June 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
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A typical day at work
Trainmaster (Former Employee) –  Saskatoon, SK7 December 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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Review for CN RAil
Accounts Receivable Representative/Rate Clerk (Former Employee) –  Edmonton, AB30 August 2013
CN Rail was a fantastic company to work for. I started as a data entry clerk and through in house training moved into Accounts Receiveable and then a Rate clerk. Both challenging positions but rewarding as well. I like to learn and this company offered me that challenge. Co-workers and management were great and offered great opportunities for advancement if you were willing to learn and step up to to the challenge. One of the most enjoyable parts was the salary without a doubt. Still to this day it was the best paying job I had in my working career!
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Wprked there for 19 years. Experienced alot and grew with the company.
Train Movement Clerk (Former Employee) –  Edmonton, AB10 September 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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It's an interesting place to work and there is a lot of diversity with this job.
Conductor (Current Employee) –  Saskatoon, SK12 November 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 money, terrible life balance
Train Conductor (Current Employee) –  Vaughan, ON23 January 2015
Typical day at work: 8 hours outside in the freezing cold and in order to warm up you must broadcast over the radio that you want to go inside a locomotive to warm up

What I learned: Seniority based promotion is not for me. I would much rather achieve opportunities based on performance.

Management: Frequently "hides" to observe rule compliance and will write you up for minor violations of a rule they may not even understand themselves.

Co-Workers: Some genuinely happy with their job, some obviously depressed but sticking around for the money. Conductors with 20+ years seniority are still unable to hold a job with desirable hours and at the terminal they want.

Hardest part of the job: Demoralizing remarks such as management/traffic coordinators asking "is everything okay over there?" at the slightest delay.

Most enjoyable part of the job: Controlling and riding around on train equipment and the physical aspect of the job. Plenty of exercise.

Although this should be a very rewarding and "cool" out of the ordinary job, this is quickly overshadowed by the sour company culture and the company renegging on union agreements at the first available opportunity.
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They don't practice what they preach
N/A (Former Employee) –  Montréal, QC22 October 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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It was an exellant place to work and has provided me and my family with an happy and exellant lifestyle
Customer service clerk (Former Employee) –  Prince George, BC18 July 2012
The typical day started with a safety meeting and then it was off to work no days were the same. We basically were on our own we new what had to be done and worked hard to get it done. The management expected you to do the job and as long as you did they were happy. My co-workers were good and easy to get along with. The hardest part of the job was at first learning it and then organizing how you were going to do the job in the most effective and timely way. The most enjoyable part of the job was getting it done and done right a sense of accomplishment.
Pros
exellant benefits, worked with a lot of nice people, first aid training, forklift training, class 2 liscense.
Cons
there was a lot of pressure to do the work and on a timely basis, this at times would cause a lot of stress.
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Don't do it, It's a trap!
Conductor (Former Employee) –  Prince George, BC28 February 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.
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Good money for single guys. Be prepared to lose your life.
Conductor (Former Employee) –  Smithers, BC12 October 2012
Amazing money right off the bat. Good job security. Takes a few years to be totally secure but after about 2 you're set or life. Great pension, but most guys don't live very long after 35 years of graveyards, poor diet, living in hotels, and going through a few wives. I went in thinking it wouldn't be me but here I am divorced and unhealthy, depressed, looking for other work. Thanking god I got out.

By the way some stats: average of 3 people you'll kill in your career, just like any job things go bad and the trains weight upwards of 26,000 tonnes, for the first 2ish years depending on where you work it could be mostly outside, in the mountains, in the wind, in the rain, get the picture, management structure is fire first then maybe ask questions, the union will never let you lose your job no matter how stupid you are.
Pros
90, 000 to start, 110, 000 by year 2, 130, 000 by year 5
Cons
you'll probably die horribly
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Exciting and fast paced work environment
Environmental Coordinator (Former Employee) –  Edmonton, AB3 February 2016
A great place to work for someone who likes thinking outside the box and a fast paced environment. Compensation is appropriate for the amount of dedication required for all positions.
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CN Conductor
Conductor Trainee (Former Employee) –  Winnipeg, MB15 January 2016
You live to work.

Then you get laid off and you can't live.

Very true they spend $50k training you and then $100k trying to fire you.

Toxic Management. Continually steal money from workers and break agreements.
Pros
eventually good pay
Cons
everything but the pay
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Nice place to work
Electrician Apprentice (Former Employee) –  Edmonton, AB9 January 2016
Great place to work, people are great and benefits are really good.
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Good job if you can hold a position
conductor (Current Employee) –  saskatoon6 June 2015
Excellent wages and benefits. however since CN rail is a seniority based work place there is a very high possibility to get laid off after your done training. (excluding management) You should also expect to get called for work at all hours of the day with 2 hours notice max. If you can hold a position you will get paid very well but don't expect to have much of a home life.
Pros
pay
Cons
your never at home
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Overall rating

3.3
Based on 188 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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