Israel's Supreme Court of Justice denied an appeal by the state over building two new private ports.
The decision upholds a National Labor Court decision in late July to temporarily suspend them.
The state had filed a petition with the High Court last week, asking it to rescind a Labor Court ruling, freezing the process by which the state was soliciting bids for the establishment of privately run ports. Building private port tenders is part of a government plan to reform the ports by introducing competition.
The privately run port facilities designed to compete with the state-run ports in Haifa and Ashdod.
Supreme Court Judge Zvi Zylbertal ruled that he found no reason to intervene in the Labor Court's ruling or to issue an injunction at this time.
He did not close the door on the state, at least not formally, saying that, after the parties file the report on the progress of the negotiations by September 2, as ordered by the Labor Court, he will review the appeal.
Histadrut labor federation legal representative Shai Taken welcomed the decision, noting the state had no justification in trying to upend the labor court, calling the appeal out of place. "We hope that at this stage the state will respect and act according to the court's decision and conduct real negotiations in an attempt to solve the differences, as it should have done in the first place."