Press Releases

Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County Forms Union with Teamsters Local 856


Press Contact: Chris Rosell Phone: (202) 528-3775 Email:

(Concord, Calif.)  — This week, Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County staff officially formed a union with Teamsters 856.

Rainbow staff provide free and sliding-scale therapy for individuals, couples, and families; HIV testing and counseling; support groups for the LGBTQ+ community; programming in public schools, and more.

“We decided unionizing would help us in our vision to serve the LGBTQ+ community and strengthen our workplace, as well as create transparency and long-term stability for the organization,” said Rae Messer, an associate clinician at Rainbow.

After receiving notice of the employees’ desire to form a union with Teamsters 856, Rainbow Center’s board voluntarily recognized the staff’s choice.

“We’re happy the Board respected the workers’ right to form a union,” said Teamsters 856 Secretary-Treasurer/Principal Officer Peter Finn.

“We look forward to representing the staff at Rainbow and helping them negotiate a strong Teamster contract so they may continue to focus on the important and crucial work they do for the Contra Costa County community,” said Local 856 Representative Corey Hallman who will lead negotiations for the Rainbow staff’s first union contract.

This organizing victory is another win for the Teamster Organizing Network – a coalition of Teamster locals across California and Nevada whose goal is to help working people gain a voice on the job and build Teamster power in core industries.

“It’s a priority for us to partner with and organize non-profit community groups in the Bay Area because they are important to our communities,” said Local 856 Director of Organizing Chris Rosell. “Not only will we represent the staff at Rainbow, but we hope to help them flourish in their mission to serve the community as well.”

Founded in 1949, Teamsters Local 856 represents 17,000 hardworking members in the San Francisco Bay Area, North Bay, Sacramento, and Central Valley communities.