Canadian National Railway
Happiness score is 43 out of 100
3.2 out of 5 stars.
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Canadian National Railway Employee Reviews

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Since I was hired on and sent to CN campus you could tell they are invested in you succeeding in the career path you have chosen. They put a lot of time and resources into you. Overall it’s been a great experience and will continue to be.
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An incredibly toxic work environment from management to your coworkers. Can't trust your coworkers and you can't trust management. Terribly ran union with the union reps being bought out by the company and only in it for money not the union principals that they preach. No life and management will harass on personal time.
Pros
Great benefits and great pay
Cons
Long hours, on call 24/7, terrible coworkers, bad management, toxic, no work/life balance
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Official response from Canadian National Railway
26 February 2021
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. With a 24/7/365 operation CN could not function without our dedicated employees. We pride ourselves on providing our team with great compensation and benefits. When we recruit talent to our teams, we spend a lot of time going over the working conditions and the realities associated with the railroad operating 24/7/365 days a year. We are sorry to hear about your experience with us and hope that you shared it with our colleague during your exit interview so we can develop strategies to do better in the future. We thank you for your hard work and having helped move our business and the economy forward.
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No support from management Its union position we pay $1000/yr and they dont do nothingToxic environment, never positive feedbavkIf you dont have seniority, you do t have a life
Pros
Free toilet paper
Cons
Lack of support
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Official response from Canadian National Railway
24 February 2021
Thank you for sharing your feedback and for your hard work at CN. With a 24/7/365 operation we could not function without our dedicated employees. We thank you for helping move our business and the economy forward. Please share your feedback with your manager.
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The only good thing is the money and the pension They don't care about quality of life. They ignore collective bargaining agreement. They use fear and intimidation as primary tool for motivation. They only pretend to care about public and personal safety.
Pros
Good pay
Cons
Too many to list
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Official response from Canadian National Railway
23 February 2021
Thank you for sharing your feedback and for your hard work. When we recruit talent to our teams, we spend a lot of time going over the working conditions and the realities associated with the railroad operating 24/7/365 days a year. We pride ourselves on providing our team members with great compensation and benefits. We hope you shared your concerns regarding safety with your supervisor or your HR business partner or during exit interview so we can develop strategies to do better in the future. Safety is also a core value at CN and we make sure to provide our employees with the necessary tools and training to work safely. We thank you for having helped move our business and the economy forward.
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Good job for someone who doesn't have a family. Your never home. Money is great you can make a lot depending on how much you want to work. Management is horrible they don't care about their employees. A lot of grumpy people that work there. Layoffs happen a lot.
Pros
Wage
Cons
Layoffs, Management, Never Home
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Official response from Canadian National Railway
16 February 2021
Thank you for sharing your feedback and for your hard work. We pride ourselves on providing our team members with great compensation and benefits. When we recruit talent to our teams, we spend a lot of time going over the working conditions and the realities associated with the railroad operating 24/7/365 days a year, including how being on call can disrupt your family life and important events. We thank you for having helped move our business and the economy forward.
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Really enjoyed the time that I worked at the Brampton Intermodal Terminal. I was in a difficult situation in my life financially and employment due to my industry at the time falling apart. I was given the opportunity to work as an Intermodal Clerk and i loved it. Fantastic culture and manager. Hours where very difficult due to being contract with 8 hours on 8 hours off 5-6 days a week, but it saved my bacon. I was however very disappointed when I quit (with ample notice) when my industry rebounded and was offered my job back. When I asked of I could come back as a contact, i was told "no" because I left. I would still love to be there as a contract again. Overall, i enjoyed my time there.
Pros
Good people, good culture, good training, excellent pay and benefits.
Cons
Long and irregular hours sometimes with little to no notice .
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Official response from Canadian National Railway
16 February 2021
Thank you for sharing your feedback and for your hard work. When we recruit talent to our teams, we spend a lot of time going over the working conditions and the realities associated with the railroad operating 24/7/365 days a year. We pride ourselves on providing our team members with great compensation and benefits. With this 24/7/365 operation CN could not function without our dedicated employees. We thank you for having helped move our business and the economy forward.
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Take this job if all you want is good money and putting in your 8 hours. Just make sure you can handle being on call 24/7 with 2 hours notice and never having weekends or back to back days off.
Pros
Money, unlimited overtime
Cons
toxic relationship between union and management, No flexibility in all areas of job life
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Official response from Canadian National Railway
10 February 2021
Thank you for sharing your feedback and for your hard work. We pride ourselves on providing our team members with great compensation and benefits. When we recruit talent to our teams, we spend a lot of time going over the working conditions and the realities associated with the railroad operating 24/7/365 days a year, including how being on call can disrupt your family life and important events. We are sorry to hear about your experience with us and hope that you shared it with our colleague during your exit interview so we can develop strategies to do better in the future. We thank you for having helped move our business and the economy forward.
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retired from CN after 38 years was a good experience had excellent benefits good working relationships with other employees and good working hours
Pros
great benefits
Cons
no cons
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Official response from Canadian National Railway
10 February 2021
Thank you for taking the time to share your positive feedback. With a 24/7/365 operation CN could not function without our dedicated employees. We pride ourselves on providing our team with great compensation and benefits. We thank you for your 38 years of hard work and for having helped move our business and the economy forward.
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Say goodbye to your life. Work every weekend, holiday and booking vacation is bullish. Lucky if you can hold a night shift or your on call 2 hours notice. Bouncing around shifts an never know your days off. An days day never together. If you real lucky you’ll only get one day off.
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Official response from Canadian National Railway
2 February 2021
Thank you for sharing your feedback and for your hard work. When we recruit talent to our teams, we spend a lot of time going over the working conditions and the realities associated with the railroad operating 24/7/365 days a year, including how being on call can disrupt your family life and important events. We thank you for having helped move our business and the economy forward.
Official response from Canadian National Railway
3 February 2021
Thank you for sharing your feedback and for your hard work. When we recruit talent to our teams, we spend a lot of time going over the working conditions and the realities associated with the railroad operating 24/7/365 days a year, including how being on call can disrupt your family life and important events. We thank you for having helped move our business and the economy forward.
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The pay is good but if you have a social life or enjoy spending time with your family then this is not the job for you. They don’t care about work life balance. Who wants to work night shift for their career with a weekend during the week. We have tried to convince management to allow some type of shift rotation so all can have a weekend off occasionally but they won’t even consider it. Too much work to do the scheduling they say but they continue to lose good guys because of the poor shifts. Then they have to hire and train more which cost money. If they fixed this guys would be happier and they wouldn’t have the turn over they do.
Pros
Money and the work
Cons
Poor shifts
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Official response from Canadian National Railway
26 January 2021
Thank you for sharing your feedback and for your hard work. We pride ourselves on providing our team members with great compensation and benefits. When we recruit talent to our mechanical teams, we spend a lot of time going over the working conditions and the realities associated with the railroad operating 24/7/365 days a year, including how being on call can disrupt your family life and important events. We must also respect the union agreements in place which include provisions for seniority.We thank you for helping move our business and the economy forward.
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Horrendous training wage. Excessively long probationary period. Early on you’re very susceptible to layoffs. After qualifying wages make it all worth it if you can stick it out.Estimated wage is just that, an estimate.
Pros
Post-qualification wages
Cons
Long hours, work / life balance, substandard training wages, management pressures, excessively long probationary period
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Official response from Canadian National Railway
14 January 2021
Thank you for sharing your feedback and for your hard work. We pride ourselves on providing our team members with great compensation and benefits including the ability to develop themselves and grow their careers. When we recruit talent to our operations teams, we spend a lot of time going over the working conditions and the realities associated with the railroad operating 24/7/365 days a year, including how being on call can disrupt your family life and important events. We thank you for helping move our business and the economy forward.
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They fed me for 37 yrs no complaints except for some of the people that worked there, but you get that at every workplace...It's all good...Would I work there again...you bet..I am grateful to CNR for giving me a paycheque all theses years
Cons
long hours
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Official response from Canadian National Railway
6 January 2021
Thank you for sharing your positive feedback and for your 37 years of hard work. We pride ourselves on providing our team members with great compensation and benefits including the ability to develop themselves and grow their careers. With a 24/7/365 operation CN could not function without our dedicated employees. We thank you for having helped move our business and the economy forward.
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I understand and am sympathetic people grievances at this place and there is a lot of validity to them. However being a young bachelor I still enjoy my job as well as the lifestyle. A big problem with this place is the lack of communication and coordination between different departments. I feel like that causes a lot of frustration and stifles productivity. The top down management style does not help. The top down management style and the fact that a new rule comes out every time some dummy who shouldn't work there in the first place hurts himself makes the unnecessarily frustrating. I feel like if they focused more on training or firing those people rather than micromanagement and trying to fire the good employees, this would be a much better place to work at and you'd hear a lot less complaints about working here. One last thing I should mention is the money is great but if you can't handle the lifestyle of being away from home and on call at all hours of the night, don't waste your time with this place.
Pros
Easy job once you pass the learning curve, money and benefits
Cons
on call with no schedule or set days off, micromanagement and management style
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No two days are the same, you learn many different skills from clear communication, technical, time management, organization to a set time limit to complete daily tasks. Hardest part of the job is the 24/7/365 days a year which calls for shift work. Most enjoyable part of the job was the people working here with very few exceptions over 35 years of service.
Pros
good wages, benefits, pension, holidays up to 6 weeks after long service
Cons
24/7/365 days a year operation which means shift work
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Official response from Canadian National Railway
6 January 2021
Thank you for sharing your feedback and for your hard work. When we recruit talent to our teams, we spend a lot of time going over the working conditions and the realities associated with the railroad operating 24/7/365 days a year. We pride ourselves on providing our team members with great compensation and benefits including the ability to develop themselves and grow their careers. With a 24/7/365 operation CN could not function without our dedicated employees. We thank you for having helped move our business and the economy forward over the many years you worked with CN.
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Pros: great pay, great coworkers, the work its self is very challenging fun and exciting.Cons: work away from home, on call 24/7. seniority based. so when you finally get the position/shift you want the send you to become an engineer and not its not a choice. then you're always on the road and on call. job is very dangerous and make on mistake at the wrong time and it will kill you. slip while hanging on to a moving car and it will kill you. people die doing this job and thats a sad fact.
Pros
pad meals if forced out of town. great pay awesome coworkers. amazing views etc on the road.
Cons
long hours, on call, work away from home a lot, dangerous
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Official response from Canadian National Railway
17 December 2020
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. We pride ourselves on providing our team with great compensation. When we recruit talent to our operations teams, we spend a lot of time going over the working conditions and the realities associated with the railroad operating 24/7/365 days a year, including how being on call can disrupt your family life and important events. Safety is also a core value at CN and we provide our employees with the necessary tools and training to work safely. We thank you for your hard work and having helped move our business and the economy forward.
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From interview to being hired about 2 months.Then go to CN campus in WinnipegIf you pass they will jerk you around.You will have no life, no schedule, on call all the time, say goodbye to your life. The management are backstabbers and so are some of the union reps. In Jasper Alberta they work together to choose who they want to stay. People come from all over the country to train and work and they jerk them around, keep them in the dark and then fire them. Even if you excelled. Even if you stay on you can be relocated to God knows where. Stay away! Mostly everyone there hates the job
Pros
Decent pay
Cons
Bad management, no schedule, Toxic
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Worked for the Mechanical Department for 5 years, I left voluntarily. I was one of the more capable employees in terms of experience machanically. I worked many long days 7 days a week, with all the overtime I could get. Not the best seniority therefore weekdays off on off shifts was the best it was going to get. Management are more concerned about productivity numbers and job justification by deciplin than anything else. Including your well-being They push safety all day but when it comes down to it they will expect you to do whatever it takes to get trains out. Management was usualy incapable at communicating between various departments. Each one trying to pass the blame on the other.Overall very toxic enviroment, many employees are in denial how miserable it is due to the wages, but many see it for what it is.There is absolutly no appreciation for you, you have a pin number and thats what you are to them just a number. I usually felt as if i was a prisoner working for them.Many stuck it out for the pension, only to enjoy retirement alone due to divorces ect, due to the shiftwork and days off requirements for 90% of employees.Life is short, dont waste it.
Pros
Wages, but not relative to work location
Cons
You will have no life
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Official response from Canadian National Railway
1 December 2020
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. When we recruit talent to our operations teams, we spend a lot of time going over the working conditions and the realities associated with the railroad operating 24/7/365 days a year, including how being on call can disrupt your family life and important events. We thank you for your hard work and having helped move our business and the economy forward. We are sorry to hear about your experience with us and hope that you shared it with our colleague during your exit interview so we can develop strategies to do better in the future.
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This company is such a joke. Used to be a well respected company that cared for their employees but they will literally hire you just to fire you for whatever reason they can think of. They make up their own rules. Do not waste your time with them, they screwed me around for just over a year. Run away!!
Pros
Money. That's it.
Cons
Literally everything in your life
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Official response from Canadian National Railway
9 November 2020
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. When we recruit talent to our operations teams, we spend a lot of time going over the working conditions and the realities associated with the railroad operating 24/7/365 days a year, including how being on call can disrupt your family life and important events. We thank you for your hard work and having helped move our business and the economy forward. We are sorry to hear about your experience with us and hope that you shared it with our colleague during your exit interview so we can develop strategies to do better in the future.
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In the last 2 to 3 years, CN has started a transformation where people where let go and not replaced adequately. Some people left are using bullying tactics to keep their old ways. Thing are only delivered according to whom you know. The digital transformation is pain full. Youngster are either to adopt or get crushed.The old pension benefits are no more. (bonuses are in the last 2 years)People are constantly working overtime to keep up with overcharges and decision from management to outsource IT offshore to cut cost.
Pros
English working environment in Quebec, Multiculturalism
Cons
Long hours, not a nimble company (unable to go Agile in the IT world)
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Official response from Canadian National Railway
26 October 2020
Thank you for sharing your feedback and for your hard work while at CN. With a 24/7/365 operation CN could not function without our dedicated employees. We pride ourselves on providing our team with great compensation and benefits including the ability to learn and develop themselves. We are sorry to hear about your experience with us and hope that you shared it with our colleague during your exit interview so we can develop strategies to do better in the future. We thank you for your hard work and having helped move our business and the economy forward.
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a lot to put up with day in day out. Unions guys friends with senior mech manager. not worth losing time and special days in your life events you miss out a lot on. Union never backs you up. Seems the union is lazy. If you have zero life, zero friends, zero family, go take the job then. CP rail is the exact same mentality, good luck.
Pros
Money
Cons
Look at my review
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Official response from Canadian National Railway
7 October 2020
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. When we recruit talent to our operations teams, we spend a lot of time going over the working conditions and the realities associated with the railroad operating 24/7/365 days a year, including how being on call can disrupt your family life and important events. We thank you for your hard work and having helped move our business and the economy forward. We are sorry to hear about your experience with us and hope that you shared it with our colleague during your exit interview so we can develop strategies to do better in the future.
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CNR (CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY) was one(1) of the best careers / jobs I’ve ever had,Employees, safety, team spirit and culture are very high on this business priority.Get it, stay in !
Pros
Salary, benefits, Rooms to grow(advancement), Unlimited amount of work and advancement and knowledge to be learned.
Cons
Management are perfect examples of covert dream/ Career destroyers, grow eyes in the back of your head.
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