Canadian National Railway

  www.cn.ca
  www.cn.ca

Canadian National Railway Reviews

Updated August 15, 2014
Updated August 15, 2014
88 Reviews
3.1
88 Reviews
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Canadian National Railway President, CEO, and Director Claude Mongeau
Claude Mongeau
30 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The pay is good, the benefits are top tier, the people you work with are great, and get paid to work out every day (in 10 reviews)

  • job security benefits vacation perks (in 8 reviews)


Cons
  • Poor work/life balance if you're involved in the operation in any way (in 7 reviews)

  • Stress levels are rediculous, upper management needs to learn how to treat people like people (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

22 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Virtually a nightmare

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Transportation Clerk
    Former Employee - Transportation Clerk

    I worked at Canadian National Railway full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The salary and benefits are great. That's where it ends.

    Cons

    Some of the cons include- but are not limited to- poor, underqualified management, little to no disregard for employees, and general sketchiness.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    DOUBLE STANDARDS!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Conductor in Memphis, TN
    Current Employee - Conductor in Memphis, TN

    I have been working at Canadian National Railway

    Pros

    The only good thing about this place is the money. I don't know anything else positive to say, its sad really.

    Cons

    There is an unspoken double standard that exists at the CN. They have a rule book in which you are to comply with that has, literally, over 1,000 rules in it. If you go by all the rules, which is next to impossible, you will not get your job done. If you break the rules to get your job done, you risk getting written up or even fired.

    The double standard is that the company expects you to break certain rules in order to finish your job. However, the company must complete efficiency tests in where company officials go out and spy on employees in the field to catch them breaking the smallest rules. If an employee goes by every single rule and does not finish their work, the company thinks the employee is "screwing them".

    If you ask any company official about what I just wrote, they will deny it. At this place, you get penalized for breaking the rules, and you get penalized for going by the rules. This is no joke and very frustrating for people that just want to come to work and do a good job.

    Here lately, within the last few months, it seems that the company has gotten even more vigilant for employees breaking the most smallest and seemingly ridiculous rules.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My advice to the CN would be to wake up and realize that the more employees that you write up for breaking the small rules, the more employees you will have that are going to go by ALL the rules. As this happens, customers will not get switched and trains will be severely delayed. Make up your mind about what rules you really want to enforce and how slow or fast you want your operation to be. If it is the FRA that is making you enforce all these silly rules, lobby Congress, apply for FRA waivers, do whatever it takes!

    You have been warned!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    CN fires people for no reason if they have a beef with you.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Locomotive Engineer in Memphis, TN
    Current Employee - Locomotive Engineer in Memphis, TN

    I have been working at Canadian National Railway

    Pros

    CN pay is very good but that is totally it!!!

    Cons

    CN is the worst place you can work period! they make up stuff to get you fired when they have a beef with you. one train crew was totally fired because they blew the whistle for track men moving dangerous material cars with track machines. one was even arrested over made up charges!!! i hope that man has a field day in court with the railroad. the managers make you break rules and then when something goes wrong they call an investigation and fire you. you look over your back everyday you come to work wondering if today will be your last day before you are fired. what kind of life is that dealing with this much stress wondering how you will support your family working with the set of double standards this company uses to get the work done. you could end up fired or worse they try to ruin your life by making false acusations that get you tosed in jail!! this isnt railroading and i have no idea what you would call it. these people need to be investigated by the federal government or something.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    step up to the plate and stop harrasing employees. stop lying in company investigations and elsewhere. treat us like you yourself would want to be treated.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    CN is a large very political company to navigate

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Corporate Services in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Corporate Services in Montreal, QC (Canada)

    I have been working at Canadian National Railway full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Interesting work, Promotion possibilities, money, pension however there is a cost you have to put in long hours and don't ask why just do it attitude. Very political organization, must be able to navigate with the players.

    Cons

    Toxic senior leader makes life hard for everyone within the group, micro manages never delegates and has convoluted processes that must be followed even for the simplistic activity or project.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have some integrity, do what you preach.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Mediocre. Always looking for other jobs other than mine.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Conductor in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Current Employee - Conductor in Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    I have been working at Canadian National Railway full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Pay is good, that's about it.

    Cons

    Harassment from management, terrible work life balance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    What's the difference between a railroader, and someone who works for the railroad? I didn't think you'd know.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great if you never want a life and want to be treated like a number.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Canadian National Railway

    Pros

    A lot of overtime hours=pretty big pay checks.
    If you like disregarding safety rules this is the place for you.

    Cons

    As a track maintainer on the rail gang and welding I was working anywhere from Saskatchewan to BC in the middle of nowhere. 10 days on 4 days off work cycle, they pay a rate per km travelled to and from work but if you have anythig other than a car it doesn't cover gas costs and the travel eats into your days off I.e. If I was stationed in sask or northern BC it would eat up 1 or 2 days of my time off.

    I was almost killed on the job a couple times due to incompetent foreman running through our permit limits on the tracks and not heading my advice about vehicle maintenance for our welding truck. If you live in a town that employs a lot of CN'ers it can be almost impossible to bid onto a section job where you're home every week.

    I quit due to the lack of respect from my fellow welding crew and dangerous situations we were always put in, so many of us quit at once that they did a follow up investigation after we left as they knew their was a problem with how it was run, yet I never got any reconsiliation as to being mistreated and forced to quit. I will never go back or advise anyone I care about I work their again.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Open your eyes, just because somebody has been there 30 years it does not mean they are doing the job properly. My foreman was very experienced but blatantly put us in danger every week and disregarded any new rules because it wasn't how it was done when he started!

  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Horrible Hours, horribly managed, get out when you can.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Railroad Conductor in Markham, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Railroad Conductor in Markham, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Canadian National Railway full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Money, co-workers, that's all really.

    Cons

    Hours, management culture of fear, run like a prison - workers are inmates.

    If you have other job oppurtunities, take them, HR sells the job real well, you will find you will be selling the job to yourself.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    it's 2013 not 1913,

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    If I had to do it over again - NO bloody way!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - RTC in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Current Employee - RTC in Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    I have been working at Canadian National Railway full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    it does pay some bills.
    if you are a stupid, backstabbing, conniving brown-noser THIS is the place for you!
    at least E dot is gone.

    Cons

    nepotism, incompetence, unhealthy inflexible shift work, no chance for advancement or promotion based on merit. Hostile and abusive work environment. No incentives recognition or rewards offered to unionized positions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have supervisors with people skills and experience. Incompetence at other positions should not be a reason to promote. Less managers. Listen to your employees when they offer advice or input - too often given to dumb, obstinate or just plain ignorant managers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Can't wait to retire........EARLY !

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Locomotive Engineer in Winnipeg, MB (Canada)
    Current Employee - Locomotive Engineer in Winnipeg, MB (Canada)

    I have been working at Canadian National Railway full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    the comradery of the men. riding the rails still has a old time romance to it. witnessing the four seasons of a 300 mile stretch of land, year after year.

    Cons

    employees constantly under managements thumb with non-sensible efficiency tests
    union contract constantly violated
    constantly fear for your job
    getting a first hand look at the sillyness with which the company is run at the local level

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    start treating the running trades employees with a little dignity and respect.
    give the new employees proper training.
    do away with the yearly "report card" for something more helpful to the employee

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Horrible work/life balance for Trainmasters

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Trainmaster
    Current Employee - Trainmaster

    I have been working at Canadian National Railway full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The pay and bonus is great, excellent health benefits, and (most) coworkers are amazing to work with.

    Cons

    Work/life balance is non-existent in management. Trainmasters are expected to protect conductor holes on days off, no one gets weekends off. If one person doesn't answer their phone on days off, the group gets punished with an even worse work schedule for everyone. Expected to dial into conference calls even on days off which means no going out of cell range (camping, etc) or disciplinary action will occur.
    Trainmasters are caught in the middle of upper management and the employees who run the trains - they really do try to keep things running smoothly but hands are tied with ridiculous demands. Hiding in bushes and watching employees work comes to mind. The system in place to ensure employees are following rules is being abused. Instead of being used as a learning tool and a way to coach employees, it is being used as a disciplinary tool.
    There is a culture of fear, and an almost toxic environment due to the frustration of most employees with how things are done.
    Training programs lack - CN uses something I like to call "Battlefield Training," give them a cell phone, truck and a laptop and let them loose.
    Those who are incompetent seem to get promoted quite readily, and somehow end up with the great shifts and days off. Those who actually know what they're doing get stuck in one job because upper management won't release them to bigger and better positions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give your Trainmasters a rotating weekend schedule, let us have lives outside of work. I don't mind working weekends, just not every single one. Start paying us our stats like we are entitled to.
    You're going to start losing a lot of great employees soon if something doesn't change. I know myself and a few more are looking elsewhere - money isn't everything. Your future isn't sticking around, and the ones who are staying are the ones you really don't want to keep.
    I don't see anyone from within the company lining up for my job. Make it more appealing and promote from within. These former Starbucks and Futureshop managers hired into Trainmaster service are absolutely clueless and scary to have out there.
    Stop railroading by number!!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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