THE boss would scold the barmaids and even beat them at the pub where they worked.
Twice, David claimed, he witnessed the pub owner, Jon, beating the barmaids in the pub's toilet.
When he confronted Jon, the latter told him off, saying that he had 'bought the girls' and that 'the girls were his business'.
The memories came thick and fast for David - a former bartender who worked in the same pub - as he read The New Paper's report on the alleged abuses two Filipino barmaids suffered while working in a Tanjong Pagar pub recently.
He had chanced upon our front-page report on Tuesday while waiting for his number to be called at the Jurong Town Council office. He was there looking for a job.
In our report, the pub owner was accused of verbally abusing, and then beating and threatening to burn his Filipino barmaid when she refused to cower before him.
David, a Singaporean in his 40s, recalled Suzie and Jon and the pub they worked in. We are not using any real names in this report.
David, too, declined to give his real name. But for the sake of the women, he said he was willing to testify to the police and in court if necessary.
David, who quit his job at the same pub in September, said he did not witness the abuses described by Suzie and another barmaid, Jane, in our report. But he claimed he had witnessed other instances of abuse taking place in the same pub.
David claimed that Jon would beat the barmaids, even in their apartment. Although he did not witness the beatings there, David claimed he had seen barmaids turn up for work the next day with swollen faces.
Jon also often didn't pay the barmaids, David claimed. The barmaids were so desperate that David had to ask customers to buy food for them.
Occasionally, he too bought food for them. Even the food stall owners who knew them would often give extra rice, he claimed.
'It was sad to see four, five girls sharing one packet of fried rice,' said David.
Jon, claimed David, was a tough taskmaster. He would get angry when his sales targets were not met.
According to David, he insisted that the barmaids must hit daily sales quotas of $1,000 on weeknights, and up to $4,000 on weekends.
To achieve this, the barmaids had to make the customers buy drinks for them.
David claimed that on nights when business was poor, Jon would also verbally abuse the barmaids and his other staff - which consisted of David, a cashier, and a manager - for not doing anything to improve business.
Jon also allegedly banned his staff from bringing newspapers to the pub, and also did not allow the barmaids to go out even when they were not working. They were only allowed to go to the pub and then return to their apartment, David claimed.
Jon also imposed a 'no handphone' rule for barmaids.
David also recounted how two barmaids who, upon realising that they were pregnant, approached Jon to send them back to their country. But he refused, until they had cleared their 'debt' of about $1,500 each.
One of the barmaids was eventually deported after a routine police check on the pub. The other worked till she settled her debt and bought her own ticket home, claimed David.
Jon also didn't pay staff salaries on time, David claimed.
But when anyone tried to confront Jon, he would get angry and delay the payment of their salaries further.
David claimed he eventually quit because he was owed 'about $600 to $700' in pay.
This article was first published in The New Paper.