But the charitable company which sacked them was due to consider legal advice on their chances of successfully appealing against the decision at a board meeting this week.
Cornwall CC set up Cornwall Care Ltd in 1996 to take over its 18 homes for elderly people.
The independent, not-for-profit company dismissed the care staff in September 1996, then re-engaged them the following day, forcing reductions in pay and conditions.
Unison, the main union representing the workers, has called the decision a landmark victory.
Unison branch secretary Val Biancardi, who said the union was told the council needed to cut£1.6 million from its social services budget, said care staff had been left with up to£60 a week less in their pay packets.
She said: 'The county council can't expect our workers to pay for their inability to balance their books.'
Cornwall Care chief executive James Robinson said the company, set up to guarantee the jobs of more than 700 staff and keep all 18 homes open, now faces possible closure.
Cornwall CC chief executive John Mills said the council would continue to monitor the company, which is an independent organisation.
He said: 'Appropriate care plans will be made in the event of closure to ensure the continued welfare and care of the elderly people.'