Beatriz (Bea) Durruthy loves to help her coworkers. Sometimes she sees them riding their bikes to work at night, so she stops and picks them up. She has an SUV and it’s easy to put the bike in the back. She makes enchiladas for their kids’ birthday parties. She’s constantly going out of her way to help others.
Bea has worked for Food 4 Less since 1994 and has been at Store 374 on University Avenue in San Diego for three years now. She has been a steward for more than 10 years.
“As a steward, I always make a point to introduce myself to new hires,” she said. “I notify them of all union meetings. I mostly emphasize how great it is to be a union member because of the benefits they provide to us.”
She passes out the UFCW Local 135 gold Work Schedule booklets to new hires. “I tell them to keep track of their hours. I emphasize that they keep track of their hours, because they want to start accumulating hours, especially when they’re working in another department and they can keep track. Keep a record of that.
“I try to give them info and I offer to give rides to meetings. I try to keep the union bulletin board up-to-date. I let them know that the Union Rep is available practically 24/7.”
Laeshawna Moore, a single mom, one of Bea’s coworkers, emphasized how helpful Bea is.
“My daughter just had her first birthday, and Bea asked me if I needed anything. She made two trays of enchiladas for me.
“She has a big heart,” she said. “She looks out for me whenever I need help with work or my kids. She always has a big smile. I have a big smile when I see her. She always does her best. And she’s a great worker.
“She participated in the San Diego Working Families Council Food and Toy Drive and she put my name in and I got a turkey, canned goods and some toys. I was happy she did that for me because I didn’t have a lot of money. She has a nice heart.”
Bea organizes breakfast for everyone at work when the store allows them to cook. She and the managers do this just to say thanks for everything their coworkers do.
Another example of the good that Bea does, a few months ago, Bea took donations to help another worker who couldn’t pay his union dues. Brandon Scales is a single father and a hard worker and she didn’t want to see him lose his job. Every single one of Brandon’s coworkers who donated money to help him, received a thank you note from Brandon and Bea.
This powerhouse, Bea, is engaged to be married. She has five sons between 23 and 40 years old and they’re all very successful in their jobs.
When she’s not busy helping people, she’s busy Kayaking, snowboarding or sailing her 32 foot sailboat. Her fiancée Larry converted their boat so it’s like a motorhome. It has a stove, a TV, a generator. She loves to travel as well and has been to Costa Rica and Brazil, among other places.
“I’m learning to scuba dive. I have all my gear for that, but I got scared so I haven’t done that in a long time, but it’s something I want to do again – eventually. I have a good life with my partner Larry. I can’t complain.”
The world can use more people like Bea Durruthy.