12/11/2014 10:18 EST | Updated 02/10/2015 05:59 EST

Black fire trucks in Montreal a 'psychological' form of protest

Montrealers may have noticed something different about fire trucks racing by with sirens blaring and lights flashing: they're not red anymore.

Montreal firefighters painted 150 of the city's 200 trucks black at the end of November in protest against Bill 3, the controversial pension reform bill that was successfully passed in the National Assembly on Dec. 4.

Chris Ross, the vice president of the Montreal Firefighters Association, told CBC Daybreak on Thursday morning that the measures firefighters could take to protest against Bill 3 were limited.

“We can’t go on strike, we can’t refuse to work," Ross said.

The paint — a water-based paint that Ross said washes off very easily — has a "psychological" effect on people who see it, he continued.

"You expect it to be red, and when it’s not red you notice something different," Ross told Daybreak host Mike Finnerty.

He said he no longer respects Mayor Denis Coderre because of his support for the passage of the municipal pension reform bill and for saying publicly that he'd send the firefighters' union the bill for cleaning up the trucks.

Listen to the whole CBC Daybreak interview here in the player above.