Greek dock workers have walked off the job in a 24-hour strike to protest plans to sell stakes in the Piraeus Port Authority, the country's largest port.

Wednesday's strike was expected to affect ports across the country. Dock workers were planning a protest rally and demonstration in Athens later Wednesday morning.

Privatizing state-held assets is a critical part of Greece's international bailout agreement, under which the country has received billions of dollars in rescue loans from other European Union countries that use the euro currency, and from the International Monetary Fund.

In return, it has had to implement reforms and austerity measures. Its privatization drive, however, has lagged far behind original deadlines.

Wednesday's strike was timed to coincide with a Parliament discussion on the Piraeus stake sale.