Alma Martin says she finally has her full-time job back and the paycheck that goes with it.
She's among nearly 200,000 state employees that are thrilled with an appeals court decision that rejects the governor's efforts to force workers to take three unpaid days off a month.
The furlough Fridays that began last year cut people's pay by 14 percent.
"I had to move out of my apartment and live with my family. Just scrambling sometimes because we didn't have enough food," Martin said.
Schwarzenegger wants to impose the furloughs until a state budget is signed. California faces a $19 billion budget deficit. His spokesperson Aaron McLear says he will appeal to the California Supreme Court because the money has to come from somewhere.
If it's three furlough days this month, six in September or if its layoffs or pay cuts, they have to happen. State employees will be cutting back just like every part of state government and families and businesses in the state," he said.
Even though they are safe from furloughs for now, state employees are furious with the governor and are striking back at the box office.
In Los Angeles, union workers got their message out at the premier of "The Expendables," saying Schwarzenegger should not treat them as expendable.
Schwarzenegger makes a cameo appearance in the movie as a favor to actor Sylvester Stallone. More theater demonstrators are planned for the Bay Area on Friday.
"Yes, we're giving him a political point: You mess with state employees, we're going to fight back," state employee Gloria Guiroz said.
Unlike the movies, no one is expecting this real life economic battle to have a happy ending.