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Canadian National Railway Company / CN
CN locomotive on a night time route   (Photo credit: Craig Williams)

Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2017)

Here are some of the reasons why Canadian National Railway Company / CN was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2017), Ten Best Companies to Work For (2016) and Montreal's Top Employers (2017):

  • CN provides maternity leave top-up payments to employees who are new mothers, ranging from 70 to 100% of salary for up to 17 weeks -- additionally, employees working at CN's head office receive subsidized access onsite daycare
  • CN invests in long-term career development with generous tuition subsidies for courses related to an employees' current position (up to $4,000) as well as subsidies for professional accreditation
  • With a strong national presence, CN operates the impressive employee and pensioner-run "Community Fund", which has raised more than $13.5 million over the past decade -- CN also manages the "Railroaders in the Community" program to provide grants to charitable organizations where employees, their families and retirees volunteer their time
CN's Senior Manager of Environment Systems Luanne Patterson working in the field   (Photo credit: Jeff Bager / Alpha Presse)

Employer Background

Industry Railroad Transportation
Publicly traded yes
Major Canadian hiring locations Charny QC, Shawinigan QC, Brampton ON, Edmonton AB, Vancouver BC, Winnipeg MB, Toronto ON, Montréal QC, Moncton NB, Halifax NS
Full-time employees in Canada 15,074
Full-time employees worldwide 21,553
Workforce engaged on a contract basis .4%
Average age of employees in Canada 41
Longest serving employee 55 years

Physical Workplace A

Commuter amenities transit subsidies, secure/sheltered bicycle parking
Workplace features the recently renovated head office is within minutes of Old Montréal and features ergonomic (and adjustable) workstations, head office is also connected to the underground walking network, offering all-season access to shops and cafés, as well as the city's Métro and bus terminal and features onsite daycare
Employee lounge amenities comfortable seating, television
Onsite cafeteria healthy menus, special diet menus
Onsite fitness facility for employees only, free membership, treadmills, stationary bikes, stairmasters, instructor-led classes (kuliboxe, Zumba, yoga, boot camp, cardio fusion), rowing machines, weights, shower facilities, free medical evaluation before membership, fitness instructors are CN employees
Other nearby amenities YMCA and YWCA, 1000 Gauchetière (indoor skating rink), fitness club, Place du Canada, Phillips Square, daycare, restaurants, shopping mall, BIXI bicycle rental dock, Old Montréal and St. Lawrence River

Work Atmosphere & Communications B+

Recent social events holiday gatherings, sporting events (including golfing, skiing and hockey), cultural and diversity day celebrations, fundraising activities hosted by the in-house CN Community Fund
Cultural aspects employee sports teams, business casual dress, casual dress Fridays
Employee communications intranet site, company newsletter, traditional/email suggestion box
Other in-house communications Faces of CN, CN People

Financial Benefits & Compensation B+

Financial benefits note CN has multiple employee groups, financial benefits may vary by position
Outside salary surveys participates in outside salary surveys every 12 months
Employee salary reviews individual salaries are reviewed every 12 months
Long-term savings defined-benefit (DB) pension
Long-term planning retirement planning assistance, phased-in retirement work options, life & disability insurance
Share purchase plan available to all employees
Signing bonuses available for some positions
Additional financial benefits discounts on phones, cars, hotel rooms, computers and laser eye surgery, salary levels are also determined through the collective bargaining process (varying by union group), management employees participate in a defined contribution pension plan

Health & Family-Friendly Benefits B+

Health plan note CN has multiple employee groups, health plans may vary by position
Health plan premium as part of the health plan, the employer pays up to 100% of the premiums
Flexible coverage health plan is flexible with adjustable premiums and coverage levels
Minimum hours worked for coverage 40 hours per week
Waiting period there is no waiting period for coverage
Family coverage option yes
Dental coverage routine, restorative, orthodontics
Traditional coverage (e.g. prescription drugs) yes
Additional coverage employee assistance (EAP) plan, semi-private hospital room, physiotherapy, medical travel insurance, medical equipment and supplies, massage therapy, podiatrist, osteopathy, chiropractor
Other health plan information percentage premium coverage is 85% for management employees
Family-friendly benefits note CN has multiple employee groups, family-friendly policies may vary by position
Maternity top-up (mothers) up to 70% of salary for 15 weeks
Additional family-friendly benefits daycare centre onsite, academic scholarships of up to $2,000 per child
Alternative work options flexible work hours, compressed work week
Additional family-friendly information management employees receive maternity leave top-up payments to 100% of salary for 15 weeks and employees based in Québec receive top-up for the full 17 weeks

Vacation & Personal Time-Off B-

Vacation note CN has multiple employee groups, vacation policies may vary by position
Vacation allowance new employees receive 2 weeks of paid vacation after their first year on the job
Vacation jump vacation increases after 4 years of employment
Maximum vacation allowance employees move to a maximum of 6 weeks of vacation over their career
Previous experience considers previous work experience when setting annual vacation for new employees
Unpaid leave maximum 12 months
Additional time-off information management employees start with 3 weeks of paid vacation and receive 1 personal day each year

Employee Engagement & Performance A

Managers receive performance review training yes
360° feedback option as part of the review process, performance feedback is also solicited from co-workers and other managers familiar with each employee's work
Confidential employee feedback employees can also provide confidential feedback on their manager's performance
Exit interview exit interview option is available for departing employees
Performance recognition individual performance bonuses, on-the-spot rewards, peer-to-peer-recognition awards, long-service awards, safety awards, unique Performance Share Units (PSU) program that awards management employees for excellent performance, President's Awards for Excellence (which includes a weekend trip for employees and their partners to a resort in Florida)
In-house survey period in-house surveys are conducted every 12 months

Training & Skills Development B+

Career planning online employee skills inventory
In-house training initiatives apprenticeship/skilled trades programs, in-house training, online training, paid internships, subsidies for professional accreditation
Related tuition subsidies employer covers up to 90% of tuition per year
Annual tuition maximum employer pays up to $4,000 in tuition subsidies for job-related courses per year
Unique training & development programs CN's unique Ambassador Program raises awareness of job opportunities internally and externally, identifies qualified candidates, welcomes new hires and promotes inclusion of all employees

Community Involvement A+

Scope of charitable involvement local, national
Employee charitable involvement employees are involved in selection of charities
Total number of charities supported last year approximately 437 charitable and community organizations were supported last year
Some of the community organizations supported Centraide, Canadian Cancer Research Society, Week-End to End Women's Cancers, Ride for Diabetes Research bike-a-thon, Children's Wish Foundation
Charitable giving matches employee volunteer hours with company donations
Community highlight CN's community program is focused on 5 areas of investment: Health and Safety for Young People, Transportation Education, Environmental Sustainability, Diversity, the United Way (support for campaigns across the country), and local and national non-profit organizations. The company also operates a number of programs to encourage maximum employee involvement, including CN's Community Fund (employees can request to add their favourite charity to the list), CN Railroaders in the Community, All Aboard for Safety, the EcoConnexions From the Ground Up tree planting program that assists communities across the country, and the CN Canadiens Alumni Challenge that features Montréal Canadiens' alumni versus CN employees (the friendly hockey games have raised over $3 million since its inception in 2002).

Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2017)

Here are some of the reasons why Canadian National Railway Company / CN was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2017):

  • CN created the Aspire program in 2012 to help educate young women about opportunities in the railroad industry and to encourage them to consider careers in non-traditional roles -- the company also recently launched a dedicated internship program to provide women with exposure to transportation, mechanical, engineering, and intermodal disciplines
  • CN is committed to developing respectful and sustainable relationships with Aboriginal peoples, recently participating in the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples' Creative Leaders symposium to discuss strategies for career advancement and employment opportunities -- the company also maintains an Aboriginal internship program and developed Aboriginal Affairs Cultural Awareness training in partnership with Amik, an Aboriginal consulting firm
  • CN maintains a diversity scholarship program for women, visible minorities, persons with disabilities, military veterans and people of Aboriginal heritage (up to $3,000 for one academic year)
CN train master Leezah Fredericks   (Photo credit: Henry Lin / Alpha Presse)
"Taking the initiative to organize ASPIRE this year is fulfilling because it inspires and influences young women the same way I was inspired by leaders when I joined CN." Aya Gedeon, Supply Agent, Transportation Technology Services


Industry Railroad Transportation
Major Canadian hiring locations Charny QC, Shawinigan QC, Brampton ON, Edmonton AB, Vancouver BC, Winnipeg MB, Toronto ON, Montréal QC, Moncton NB, Halifax NS
Full-time employees in Canada 15,074
Formal commitment maintains a diversity task force to help guide and align initiatives across the company
Diversity training and awareness Aboriginal Affairs Culture Awareness training developed in partnership with Amik
Diversity highlights dedicated internship programs for women and Aboriginal peoples, monthly Women in Rail webinars to allow prospective employees to hear from women occupying roles they've applied for, Aspire program to help educate young women across Canada about opportunities in the railroad industry
Some of the diversity-focused partnerships Comite d'adaptation de la main-d'oeuvre (recruitment of persons with disabilities), Reaching E-Quality Employment Services, Partners for Mental Health, Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion

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