The union local representing more than 325 truck drivers and other employees for The Inquirer on Sunday declared its support for the two newspaper co-owners seeking to reinstate fired editor William K. Marimow.

During its monthly meeting in Bridesburg, Teamsters Local 628 president John P. Laigaie said the owners, Lewis Katz and H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest, would preserve the editorial integrity of the paper.

Lenfest received a standing ovation when he entered the union hall. He told members that co-owner George E. Norcross III supported Marimow's ouster to get editorial control of The Inquirer. Laigaie said: "No one is going to buy the newspaper if they think Norcross is dominating the newspaper."

Dan Fee, a spokesman for Norcross and three partners in parent company Interstate General Media, said Norcross is not trying to control the newsroom. He said the Teamsters "weren't told the truth about Mr. Katz and Lenfest's threats to liquidate the company if they didn't get union concessions."

A lawsuit brought by Katz and Lenfest against publisher Robert J. Hall, Norcross, and the others to reinstate Marimow is scheduled for a hearing Wednesday in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court.

- Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman