Canadian National Railway Employee Reviews

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nice place, loads of opportunity
Tractor Trailer Driver (Current Employee) –  Edmonton, AB27 March 2017
work place is focused on safety and productivity. I found working at CN very fun and challenging in its own ways. Lots of staff to contact for assistance.
Pros
a good performing company
Cons
seniority based
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Team spirit
End-User Analyst (Current Employee) –  Montréal, QC27 March 2017
Team dynamic and chemistry really is what made a difference during long days of tedious labor but is also what pushed me to thrive in this domain; not to mention being given the knowledge that really enriched my horizons. The managers' dedication to the employees in the 'workshop' was what really helped keep a close-knit unit, making sure everyone feels safe and happy.
Pros
Schedule trade-offs, benefits, good people
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workplace focused on safety and productivity
Senior Design Engineer (Former Employee) –  Edmonton, AB25 March 2017
Doing a job safely is always an important part of the daily working activities. Doing a job efficiently and economically is also important, but not is safety is affected.
Pros
excellent wages and benefits
Cons
long hours away from home
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Good for a young man or women
work equipment supervisor (Former Employee) –  Ontario15 March 2017
The pay is very good, but you are away from home most of the time. The engineering department is especially bad for taking people away from home. The union employees have usually 5 or less days off during the summer work season. Management is required much more than that, to the point if you do not work 60+ hours a week you are shunned as lazy.
Pros
Good pay
Cons
away from home
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Very poor management, bad shifts
Railcar Mechanic (Current Employee) –  Toronto, ON6 March 2017
Mechanical department:
Very, very poor management. Supervisors hired without experience and taught to lie and cut corners to get the job done fast due to a "productivity bonus" for supervisors only and a lack of any "safety bonus". The employees doing the work get no type of bonus. Told we would get help transferring across Canada But was denied when my family tried. Very few people with high enough seniority to get weekends off. I have been there 5 years and I can only do 12am-8am with Tuesday Wednesday off and still nowhere close to a weekend or even a day shift. It's Shift work with no understanding from supervisors. Don't expect to be able to go to your kids hockey games or birthdays because they don't allow it . No sick days and harassment and investigations leading to demerits when a sick day is needed. Employees are expected to buy all their own work clothes and safety equipment. All around very poor lifestyle when you work at CN (railcar mechanic). If you like having and or seeing you're family or friends, or having hobbies / enjoy sports or activities then CN is NOT the job for you. The pay is good and two weeks vacation is OK but not worth being treated like dirt every day for.
Pros
Good pay
Cons
Almost everything
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Rules and efficiency tests
Intermodal Lead Hand Operations (Former Employee) –  Symington Yards - Winnipeg Manitoba21 February 2017
Safe work rule compliance and performance must be 100%. Efficiency testing of employees conducted by Management daily to maintain this percentage. Failed rules observed are tracked.
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Great place long hours abused by management
Railway conductor (Former Employee) –  Edmonton, AB19 February 2017
Worked here three years as a conductor. Amazing pay for what you do . Management does not care for you nor is under pressure by upper management to beat down on the lower employees. Could be better if the guys at the top were not a giant boys club. No room for advancement they hire people off the street to manage a railway. Ex . McDonalds manager telling 35yesr employees they are wrong when it comes to certain thing s in the railway
Pros
Great pay . Good holiday amounts
Cons
Seniority based . Poor management
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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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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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Was a fun place to work one time.
Car mechanic: halifax, ns (Former Employee) –  Halifax, NS8 February 2017
Put in 40 years and last 10 were the worst. Incompetent front line management that seemed to take pride in making life miserable. When I retired from CN not one person from the company came to see me off or say good bye or thank me for my service. Shame on you CN. First thirty were fun and good and you took pride in your work. It all went the last date of my career in Car Shop Halifax.
Pros
Your work mates were like family
Cons
Uncaring, Incompetent front line management who went out of their way to cause friction with employees.
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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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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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Good money, Lots to learn.
Contract Assistant (Former Employee) –  Edmonton, AB2 February 2017
You definitely earn your money. Company significantly downsized over the years and is now strictly railway - no hotels or passenger trains.
Pros
Great Safety program.
Cons
Heavy workload.
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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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Corrupt Management
Equipment Operator (Shunt Truck & Mobile Crane) (Current Employee) –  Surrey, BC15 January 2017
CN is a great place to work financially but if you want to have a life outside work and are not high enough on the seniority list, good luck. Management will say one thing and then go back on what they said later on, and say they never said, what they really said. Employees will back stab you, very few you can trust. This company claims for safety to be their number one priority but it is all a numbers game, they only care about profits and cutting loose ends. They have all these idiotic rules made up by the higher ups that have never worked a day in the field and they are constantly writing employees up on pmrc tests yet for what they expect you to do and get done, you have to break their rules. So follow the rules or get written up with a non-compliance and some demerit, or break the rules to get what they want you to get done so you don't get written up and if you get caught you still get written up. Don't get caught. CN sets its employees up to fail because in their eyes, money is everything, and everyone is replaceable.
Pros
Good wage, good medical, lots of over time
Cons
Forced over time, terrible management, safety is not number one
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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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Lazy
Mechanic (Current Employee) –  Concord, ON6 January 2017
Over paid under worked in trained incompetent lack of knowledge and wast of future job for someone who cares about the work they take pride in doing
Pros
Over payed
Cons
Whatcha your back very sharp knives people don't like change and or work
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Top Heavy Company
Prefer Not To Tell (Current Employee) –  Montréal, QC5 January 2017
Always low staff so job/life balance is not that great and the railroad is a 24/7 365 day operation so the chances you will be called in is high.

Its a very top heavy company to many managers things never get done because of it. By the time a problem reaches the top guy, it's been filtered so many times nothing ever changes. And that applies to when you do a good or bad job. However, bad jobs have a way of making it to the top a little faster.

Moreover, don't forget its all about who you know and which rear end you kiss, hard work does not get you ahead in this company you have been warned.
Pros
Good Pay
Cons
Terrible Management
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terrible company
Operator and Track Maintenance Labourer (Former Employee) –  Edmonton, AB5 January 2017
go slaray though which is nice. managment is terrribe and expect to work in the freezing cold in alberta on a 10 - 4 cycle. so if you dont like having a life then go for it
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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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Overall rating

3.4
Based on 271 reviews
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Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
2.7
Salary/Benefits
4.2
Job Security/Advancement
3.3
Management
2.7
Culture
3.0