Talk of a strike is growing in Maryland's harness and thoroughbred racing industries as datelines for contract negotiations come near.

The opening of Rosecroft harness track on March 13 is especially precarious. The shop stewards and other officers of the Retail Clerks Local 692 representing track employes have recommended to the membership that they reject the latest proposal from management.

Sal Glorioso, business agent for the harness employes, said, "The offer is inadequate. If the truth were known of the details it could be considered a slap in the face, so insignificant is the amount. We are going to urge that the membership strike rather than accept the offer when we have a full membership meeting later this month.

Ed Spector, negotiator for Rosecroft Raceway, said from his New Jersey office, "The union is asking for an incredible increase. We are on a fixed profit margin and have no new ways to get more. The horsemen want more, the employes want more and we have none to give and still make a small profit."

Meanwhile, the employes of the American Totalisator Co., which supplies and services the betting machines at the tracks, are prepared to strike if there is no contract by Feb. 29 and the mile track employes have indicated that they will honor and support their strike.