IAM 751 Machinist named state’s best forklift driver

forkliftSEATTLE — Aerospace machinist Omar Ornelas was the winner of this year’s Washington state Forklift Rodeo.

The event was held Sept. 24 in Spokane, as part of the annual Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Conference.

Ornelas is a member of Machinists Union District Lodge 751 who works for the Boeing Co. at Boeing Field in Seattle. He was one of three IAM 751 Machinists who qualified for the state forklift rodeo final. The others were Mike Weinman and Kevin Jude.

The competition consisted of a precision driving test in which drivers had to move odd loads, navigate narrow passages and weave their 3-ton machines through a slalom of plastic pylons. Drivers were judged on smoothness and efficiency, safe operating speeds, hazard avoidance and maintaining maximum safe visibility.

“Our members are masters of their crafts,” said IAM 751 President Jon Holden. “Omar’s win at the forklift rodeo is just further proof 0f that.”

Originally formed in 1935 to represent hourly workers at Boeing, District Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers now represents more than 33,000 working men and woman at 51 employers across Washington and California.

Check out our award-winning IAM 751 YouTube channel

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