BRISTOL, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – October marks National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when groups of all stripes wear pink to support the cause.

But in Bristol, Conn., the unionized firefighters have been banned from wearing pink T-shirts to show support for breast cancer awareness while on the job.

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WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reports

Mayor Art Ward said adding new charitable causes to support would create difficulties.

Angry residents spoke out against the mayor’s decision at a council meeting Tuesday night.

Other municipal leaders in the state support the pink T-shirts to raise awareness.

“I think it’s great. I saw them on a call in fact the other day and all of them with their pink shirts then I saw them with a group of students at an elementary school explaining the fire truck,” Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau.

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Marconi said all 34 Ridgefield firefighters are on board with the pink T-shirts, saying it is another way the firefighters give back to the community.

“It’s important to bring awareness to people every day and that’s what we’re hoping that we achieve by allowing the firemen to wear the pink shirts,” Marconi told Schneidau.

The T-shirt campaign is endorsed by the International Association of Fire Fighters and features a best T-shirt contest for all participating departments across the country, according to the group’s website.

In addition to the national effort, several other fire departments across the state are participating in the pink T-shirt campaign for the month.

A Bristol firefighter whose aunt is a two-time breast cancer survivor designed the pink shirts and said the one silver lining of the controversy is that sales are up, the Hartford Courant reported.

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