Los Angeles…A major supermarket chain is fighting back against mandated higher wages with the threat of the imminent closing of many of its stores, some major kosher destination stores. Responding to a city-mandated pay increase for grocery store workers, Kroger announced that it would be closing three stores in Los Angeles, including a Ralphs supermarket whose kosher kitchen, bakery and packaged food section made it a beloved institution of the West Side Jewish community. Kosher Today has learned that many of the Ralph’s kosher consumers have joined a major petition drive to keep the stores open. The store serves a West Side community that includes Pico-Robertson, Beverly wood and Beverly Hills, a Jewish population of roughly 150,000, with a significant number of kosher consumers. According to Yakov Yarmove of Albertson’s, many of the stores in the Kroger plan were underperforming. Veteran supermarket expert, Kevin O’Brien agrees that It could be a ploy to get the local authorities to rescind their recent mandates regarding increasing hourly pay higher than the food retailers can afford to pay.