British Journal of Industrial Relations, 51(4) pp 733-753

This article draws on investigations of worker response to two factory closures to develop recent discussions around mobilization theory. With many shared characteristics between the factories, both located in the garment manufacturing sector, and with similar workforces and union organization, certain key distinguishing features between the two provide insights into why worker protest became effectively mobilized and sustained in one case but failed to materialize in the other. The findings point to the value of assigning greater weight in studies of worker mobilization to the impact of prior existing social structures within a population, and the interaction between that population, its leaders and wider society.