NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Subway conductors are concerned about the safety of their emergency masks, according to the Transportation Workers Union’s Local 100 vice president.

The masks are meant to be worn during an emergency so workers can breathe properly and lead passengers to safety, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported.

Local 100 Vice President Kia Phua said the masks expired in May, and the Transit Authority is not in a hurry to replace them.

“We’re trying to get these masks, and the TA is like, well too bad, carry the expired ones and just deal with it,” he told D’Auria.

The Transit Authority has promised new ones are coming, but Phua said time is of the essence.

He is threatening that 75 percent of conductors might refuse to work because they don’t have the proper equipment.

“It’s not necessarily a strike,” he said. “This is a safety issue.”

No deadline has been set on those negotiations.

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