Canadian National Railway
2.6 of 5 77 reviews
www.cn.ca Montreal, Canada 5000+ Employees

Canadian National Railway Reviews

Updated Apr 17, 2014

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2.6 77 reviews

                             

84% Approve of the CEO

Canadian National Railway President, CEO, and Director Claude Mongeau

Claude Mongeau

(25 ratings)

47% of employees recommend this company to a friend
77 Employee Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Very good pay once you get some seniority and can hold the road"
    in 8 reviews
  • "job security benefits vacation perks"
    in 7 reviews
Cons:
  • "Poor work/life balance if you're involved in the operation in any way"
    in 6 reviews
  • "There is a culture of fear, and an almost toxic environment due to the frustration of most employees with how things are done"
    in 4 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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  • Approves of CEO

2 people found this helpful  

Working at CN was a fun and challenging experience.

Intern (Former Employee)
Homewood, IL

I worked at Canadian National Railway as an intern for less than a year

ProsCN pays well and can basically offer a lifetime career at the company.

ConsVacation time is non-negotiable. It is determined by how long you have worked at the company. It is quite old-fashioned in terms of corporate culture and managerial structure. There is not much room to grow and develop for an entry-level position.

Advice to Senior ManagementApart from keeping up with the times in terms of technology, I think more people would be willing to work at CN if vacation time was increased from just one week in the first year of work.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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not such a great place , worst Management in the country

Locomotive Engineer (Current Employee)
Detroit, MI

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

Prosthe pay and and health insurance

Consmanagement treats their employees like slaves,they are out there everyday trying to find something to fire you for,they are right and you are wrong no matter what,they treat their employees like crap...

Advice to Senior ManagementManagement should treat their employees with the respect that they themselves would like to be treated with,you get more out of an employee if you treat them with respect, but at the CN you are treated like a SLAVE..Management should work with the employees not against them...

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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1 person found this helpful  

Glad its over. Only worked there because they bought out my old railroad

Track Laborer (Former Employee)

I worked at Canadian National Railway full-time for more than 5 years

ProsThere is money to be made, but you're going to sleep in hotels 5 nights a week to make it.

ConsHire contractors to do our work, don't care about employees, and safety is only relevant after someone gets hurt. Very poor upper management. Managers go out daily with the intention of failing x amount of employees on safety audits, it's ridiculous. Worked way to long without a contract.

Advice to Senior ManagementStop enforcing policy through fear and treat your employees like human beings!!!

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Good but could be much better

Locomotive Engineer (Current Employee)
Detroit, MI

I have been working at Canadian National Railway

ProsFair wage with decent health care coverage (could be better).

ConsThere's no discipline rule for employees. Which gives CN management unlimited options when disciplining employees. This can be very unfair to employees.

Advice to Senior ManagementContinue to work on improving communication with all employees.

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It was a good experience

Trainmaster (Current Employee)
Sioux City, IA

I have been working at Canadian National Railway

ProsPay and the people I worked with.

ConsUpper management loves to yell and treat other managers like crap.

Advice to Senior ManagementTreat your employees with respect

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Some managers are better than others

Track Laborer (Current Employee)
Stevens Point, WI

I have been working at Canadian National Railway

ProsGreat wages and benefits. They have an employee stock purchase plan where the company matches $0.35 of every $1 you put in. Adding your family to your health insurance doesn't cost you extra.

ConsDepending on where you live you might not be home much. Each job/position is put out for bidding. It is then awarded based on seniority and your "qualifications". Some jobs are considered mobile and you are paid a per diem to help pay for your hotels, food and travel. Some jobs are "headquartered" and only pay you your hourly wage. Problem is there might not be a per diem job available or you don't have enough seniority which means you will have to work a headquartered job that may not be all that close to where you live.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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3 people found this helpful  

DOUBLE STANDARDS!

Conductor (Current Employee)
Memphis, TN

I have been working at Canadian National Railway

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

ConsThere 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 Senior ManagementMy 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!

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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3 people found this helpful  

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

Locomotive Engineer (Current Employee)
Memphis, TN

I have been working at Canadian National Railway

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

ConsCN 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 Senior Managementstep 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.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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1 person found this helpful  

Great job

Signal Maintainer (Former Employee)
Memphis, TN

I worked at Canadian National Railway

ProsGreat pay and excellent benefits. You also have the ability to move up and a fast pace. You also have the option to transfer to a different job if you are unhappy. The coworkers and supervisors are very helpful and will teach you all the skills you will need to be successful at this job.

ConsAbout as much over time as you can handle,and the fact that you are on call 24 seven. Also the company has a zero tolerance policy for alcohol even the amount in mouth wash. Another down side to the job is that you will have to travel all around the us until you get enough years in.

Advice to Senior ManagementNone

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Good salary but be prepared to work in the field

Project Manager (Current Employee)
Chicago, IL

I have been working at Canadian National Railway

ProsFlexible hours and easy to work from home when needed. Helps maintain work-life balance.

ConsManagement must work in the field, on trains during strike situations as well as when there are shortages in operations. Training is given for field ops but as it is not your day job, you will not feel safe running the trains.

Advice to Senior ManagementDo away with forcing management to work in the field.

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Canadian National Railway reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Canadian National Railway CEO Claude Mongeau. All 77 reviews posted anonymously by Canadian National Railway employees.