If you are ok with sacrificing everything you know and do outside of work, the job does pay well with great benefits.
Engine Hostler/Watchman (Former Employee) – Canada – 22 February 2018
Started 1600 shift for 2 years with bad weekends, moved to 2400 shift 2 more years with bad weekends. Some great co-workers but TERRIBLE MANAGEMENT! Don't get too comfortable with everyone either, there is always someone willing to stab you in the back. Alot of conflict of interest between some workers and management as well. For a company its size, it really is sad how bad the place is run and how they treat employees. I guess there's a reason they pay so well. The money wasn't worth the mental stress put on me by the environment though. That being said, I tip my hat to the people who can serve 35 years for a greasy company like CN.
Great wages, great benefits
Terrible management, terrible weekends, terrible life/work balance all around, company doesn't care about the worker one bit
I worked primarily in Northern Ontario, I found the travel was too much for my young family and felt I needed to work closer to home. The hardest part of the job was driving ten or more hours to get to a job site. Then driving home for a four day weekend every two weeks. Management could be hard to reach at times, but seemed to be fair in most situations. The best part of the job was seeing some of Northern Ontario. .
On time pay cheque, quality of life can really suffer
Signals & Communications Signal Maintainer (Former Employee) – Ontario – 6 February 2018
Toxic environment, constant battles, lack of support and skeleton crews. Most jobs away from home, lucky few work where they live, on call 24/7 in remote communities makes for a bad life to be lived. Good for single people looking to make a buck but long term it's results in an awful existence.
Revolving doors in mid level management so nothing you bring up gets handled timely
PERMANENT MACHINE OPERATOR/TRACK MAINTAINER (Former Employee) – Various across ontario – 15 January 2018
Ask any employee here, its any wonder this company makes money. Management has no idea what they're doing, are frequently way under trained, misinformed, and pressured to discipline employees excessively. It comes to the point where we come into work and wonder if we are going to get fired today. They always have some excuse, or reason to write you up, remove you from service, or assign demerits, or provide a failure on what they called random safety testing. Safety culture looks great on paper, means absolutely nothing in reality. The rules are written to cover the companies butts, and discipline employees and not actually keep anyone safe for the most part. The company and its constant monitoring, baby sitting and supervision of its employees makes you feel like your 12. They spend so much time making sure your actually working and following policy and rules to the exact letter you no longer actually focus on your job rather to make sure you aren't breaking any rules. Management also makes these amazing decisions on having the newer or less-experienced employees train the brand new employees instead of having the season and experienced employees do so. This is part of staff shortages and refusule to assign extra OJT (on the job trainers) to assist training. Other then that, the pay is awesome, benefits vary by union, the places to go, things to do are awesome! You spent your first months in a training facility either in Homewood IL or Winnipeg MB to learn.
Union ranks are subject to round the clock shifts with a schedule that can change on 2 hours notice. There is no advancement as staffs are kept at the absolute minimum. Front line managers often have zero business or HR training. It's a very Us vs Them mentality when it comes to dealing with management. Pay is great but the benefits are not. There is no bonus. No Christmas party, No sense of belonging. To CN Rail you are a number. Automation will take most of the unionized jobs in the next 10 years.
Car Checker (Former Employee) – Thunder Bay, ON – 7 January 2018
Involved in several different aspects of CN. Was able to get training in several fields of the railway operation. Great group of people, union & management. No difficulties with any job. Was moving to B.C. Left after one year of employment
Data Entry Clerk (Former Employee) – Montréal, QC – 7 January 2018
Was in early every single day to start my work as I am very punctual. Love working on the computer as I taught myself the computer over 35 years without books. Great atmosphere. No hard part of the job. My boss was awesome. Working with a great team to complete the task at hand.
Crew Dispatcher (Former Employee) – Edmonton, AB – 13 December 2017
Great company but the worst management you could ever work for! Stay away from Crew Dispatching because the management will eat you raw! no work life balance. The only thing good was the pay and thats about it!